aka Ishii Gallery is pleased to present “Love on the Left Eye,” a solo exhibition of works by Nobuyoshi Araki from May 25th to June 21st. The 65 prints included in this exhibit, Araki’s twenty-first with Taka Ishii Gallery, have been selected from the photographer’s most recent work. The title of this exhibition refers to Ed van der Elsken’s 1954 photobook “Love on the Left Bank.” When Araki was around twenty years old, he saw “Love on the Left Bank,” and took some photographs of women in poses inspired by this book; “Love on the Left Eye” could also be seen as an homage to van der Elsken.
Since October of last year, Araki has been largely unable to see out of his right eye due to a retinal artery obstruction. Still, he has continued to shoot with unchanged vigor: in total, this series consists of hundreds of images. Araki shot the photographs that make up “Love on the Left Eye” on slide film, and, before making any prints, he filled up the right side of the film with a black magic marker. The printed photographs, then, reflect Araki’s vision—the left side of each image is clear, but the right side is clouded.
Araki recently recovered from prostate cancer, and he is now facing up to the reality of losing vision in one of his eyes. “Death comes towards us all, you know,” he says. “I don’t want to approach it myself, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s coming. You just have to laugh it off!” These words show Araki’s energetic approach to his work, and this series—which reflects the Araki of today—could indeed be seen as a declaration that “photography is life.”
Press release courtesy Taka Ishii Gallery.