Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki (b. 1940) is one of the most prolific and provocative photographers of our time. His work spans a wide range of topics, from highly erotic representations of women to artificial still lifes, botanical portraits, photo-journalistic depictions of everyday life, and architectural photography – and almost diary-like shots of himself and his late wife.
The work of Tokyo (1969-1973), consisting of 28 diptychs, was the original for one of the first book projects of Araki's, which appeared in a small edition in 1973 and is at the beginning of its intense, ongoing struggle with the life and urban space of Tokyo. In this early, still conceptually oriented work, Araki combines the snapshots of nameless passers-by, who he watched at busy street crossroads, with the erotic self-productions of a young woman who is portrayed in alluring poses. The combination of street photographs and the recording of a naked female body still make Araki the adequate form of describing his hometown, a connection that characterizes his entire photographic work. The antitheses between anonymous and familiar, clothed and naked as inner and outer world act as subtle references to the separation between public and private life, between dream and reality. The passersby appear as the viewer in the role of anonymous viewers and reflect the voyeuristic view of the woman's naked body