Nobuyoshi Araki “Theater of Love”

One of the tricks of the trade that legendary lensman Nobuyoshi Araki is a master at taking photos when people least expect it, and often without their knowledge. I have personal experience of this as Araki once took my picture while I was interviewing him at his favorite Kabukicho snack bar, and I didn’t even know it till months later when an ex-student informed me that he had seen me in “Tokyo Bondage,” one of the maestro’s more than 350 published photo books. The exhibition now on at the newly opened Taka Ishii Gallery Photography venue in Roppongi goes one better than this as it consists of photos that even Araki didn’t know he had taken — at least until recently!

I found a cabinet sized box labeled ‘Theater of Love’. I opened it to find about 150 prints. It’s from around ‘65. Back then I used to click away with my Olympus Pen F, making these patchy prints using thermal development on purpose; the woman, the era, and the place are all photographed there, it’s all expressed. So, I used to say ‘Theater of Love’ back then, eh. Well, anyway, it’s good, huh, they are good photos. This sort of thing isn’t going to happen on digital. — Nobuyoshi Araki, December 2010

[This blog posting dedicated to the people of Japan enduring the Earthquake]

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