Thanks to some wonderful people from the Mexican embassy (Thank you very much!), Jairo and I were invited to the 70th birthday party of Nobuyoshi Araki, considered one of the best photographers in the world. Moreover, Wikipedia says that he is considered one of the most prolific artists in history:
Having published over 350 books (and still more every year) Araki is considered one of the most prolific artists alive or dead in Japan and around the world. Many of his photographs are erotic; some have been called pornographic. Some of his most popular photography books are Sentimental Journey, Tokyo Lucky Hole, and Shino. He also contributed photography to the Sunrise anime series Brain Powerd. Continue reading in Wikipedia…
The truth is that I like much more the photos of Daido Moriyama, but I enjoy the crazy and original personality of Araki, I talk about them in the introduction of my second book Momentos. The birthday party was quite crazy, very weird people, gorgeous women (many of them models that work for Araki) and varied performances.
The theme of the birthday party was “Life and death”; Araki was very unfortunate as his wife died when he was just 50 years old, his cat has died recently and now he is facing death alone fighting against a prostate cancer that has been bothering him for years.
We started the evening watching some of the latest photos of Araki in a projector while a pianist and a violoncellist played music. After a while, when nobody was expecting it the God of Death (Shinigami, 死神) appeared an played a performance which ended with a hug to a smiling Araki. It seems like he is not scared of death at all. In his own words, Araki is not scared of death because there are many women next to him, there are many Goddesses (Megami, 女神) that protect him. Up until now it seems that the Goddesses protection has worked pretty well for him, and we hope it continues working for many years.
Some Araki memorable quotes from the evening:
The Goddesses that I have always by my side scare the God of Death (Shinigami) away, so don’t worry about my cancer.
Men like soft things and women like hard things.
I still have to live at least until I am 90, I still have to live longer than Picasso and Hokusai.
This post doesn’t end here, the best is yet to come. Open this video in another browser tab, put the volume up and play it. Come back to this tab and play the following photo set in full screen. Turn the lights off and leave your imagination flow.