Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki’s seminal series “Erotos” was first published in 1993. Now, 21 years later, Tokyo photo publisher amanasalto revisits the series with the publication of a new edition of the book.
Featuring 10 highlights from the series, the publication is a modern take on the Japanese tradition of a pillow book, a type of private diary.
In the book’s understated black-and-white images, Araki seeks out the form of female genitalia in the natural world: a fig, a woman’s eye turned sideways, a set of lips, a crack in the ground. A curved pipe, meanwhile, suggests the male body.
Abstract and muted, these works are erotically evocative, rather than explicit.
The artist’s reasoning for their appeal is a little less nuanced, however: “Why do they come across as erotic? Because I shot them. That’s what my photos are.”