Nobuyoshi Araki’s (born 1940) Eros Diary is comprised of a series of 77 new black-and-white photographs that break from his traditional ruminations on eroticism and death to reflect more inwardly on the artist’s own life and mortality. These photographs highlight an unusual softness and somber introspection as Araki internalizes recent personal traumatic events, including the loss of his beloved cat, Chiro, his fight with prostate cancer and, later, the loss of vision in his right eye. Each photograph is timestamped in reference to the anniversary of Araki’s marriage to his wife Yoko, who died in 1990. This date also coincides with the Tanabata Festival in Japan, an annual celebration based around “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl,” a folktale in which two forbidden lovers reunite once a year for a single night. The repetition of this date speaks to the artist’s reverence for his spouse and original muse, while also highlighting her absence in his life.
Paperback: 92 pages
Publisher: Anton Kern Gallery; Reprint edition (2016)