I’m very pleased to present ARTUNER’s third curation, Araki | Moriyama: A History of Seduction. For this exhibition we continued our collaboration with Filippo Maggia, whose longstanding friendship with Nobuyoshi Araki and Daido Moriyama facilitated the thoughtfully curated display. The show attempts to make sense of the delicate workings behind Araki’s and Moriyama’s photographic lenses by displaying rarely seen prints in juxtaposition with the iconic images for which they are most recognised. A History of Seduction is the first online exhibition to feature a comprehensive survey of their significant and internationally acclaimed photographic oeuvres. I’m excited to offer the ARTUNER community an extraordinary selection of photographs by these two artists that over the years have entered into the collection of many prestigious museums and private institutions. The works being shown are printed exclusively for ARTUNER and through this curation you’ll have the chance to own original, signed, and highly sought after photographs.
A History of Seduction investigates a wide range of images that encompass all parts of their respective careers: from the beginning of the 1960s until the present day. I find it interesting that several of the photographs have become influential in their own right, as both Araki and Moriyama have captured images that retain their aesthetic relevance and speak to our contemporary era despite being shot, in some cases, several decades ago. For example, Moriyama’s stray dog, which was taken in 1971, has come to epitomise not only his own persona, but also the predatory practice of street photography as a whole, while the tights and lips have become classic examples of contemporary art photography. Concurrently, Araki’s Kinbaku portraits continue to divide opinion and act as a point of departure for many fashion photographers today while his floral images are highly regarded examples that are indicative of the direction where still life photography is headed.
Through this selection you can discover the artistic practice of Daido Moriyama from the origins of his career as part of the PROVOKE group in Tokyo, where he pioneered a high contrast, grainy, black and white style that became influential from the late 1990. His work has been shown both in Japan and internationally at major museums including retrospectives at the Tate Modern, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. We are particularly proud to present a seldom seen series of rare colour photographs from 1972 available to collectors for the first time exclusively through ARTUNER.
For Araki, we have sourced a variety of works in order to give you a clearer imagery of one of today’s most polarising and intimate photographers. Famed for his controversial relationship with Japanese authorities and erotic images, A History of Seduction delves deeper into the artist’s compulsion to depict, not only the highly eroticised female body, but also the liminal, the obscure, and the fragile relationship between life and death. Although Nobuyoshi Araki is recognised for his fashionable nudes and bondage scenes, his work goes far beyond this form of sensual image-making, encompassing still life, self-portraits and urban scenes of Tokyo.
Moriyama and Araki remain constant sources of inspiration for a new generation of artists. While this exhibition testifies to their status as highly influential Japanese photographers, it also establishes the extraordinary dynamism of their careers, which are both intertwined and individually significant.
Eugenio Re Rebaudengo