Toshio Saeki (b. 1945) is a Japanese erotic illustrator who creates controversial images of violence and morbid sexual acts. Perusing his collection is like stepping through the various moonlit rooms of a grotesque dream; as silent voyeurs, we witness placid-faced men, women, and demons engaging in strange, lust-filled scenarios that often involve necrophilia, murder, cannibalism, and genital mutilation. Images of sex and death uncomfortably collide as a woman kisses a skull and gropes herself with the corpse’s bony hand, while elsewhere poisonous snakes writhe out of a man’s tattoo during sex. Whether it’s aroused bodies swarming with cockroaches, or glaring eyeballs in the place of genitals, Saeki has an uncanny way of exposing the unconscious and disturbing the imagination in new and surprising ways. As he writes in an interview with Dazed:
“Leave other people to draw seemingly beautiful flowers that bloom within a nice, pleasant-looking scenery. I try instead to capture the vivid flowers that sometimes hide and sometimes grow within a shameless, immoral, and horrifying dream.” (Source)
Saeki’s hallucinatory and alarming style draws on a long tradition of Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and paintings from Edo-period Japan. In a variation called Shunga, these pieces depicted erotic scenes; take, for instance, Hokusai’s “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife,” a 1814 woodcut design showing a woman in the erotic embrace of an octopus. Many of Saeki’s works reference this image, incorporating “tentacle erotica” alongside unsettling situations that arrived from a combination of comic books, childhood nightmares, and lewd pictures he drew in high school. Depicting eroticism, power, and lust in startling and depraved ways, Saeki evokes conflicting, visceral sensations that both fascinate and repulse the viewer, making it hard to look away.
Saeki is now 70 years old and currently lives in rural Japan. Known as the “godfather of Japanese erotica,” his works have gained him fame and notoriety alike at home and abroad (Source). (Via Cvlt Nation)
Photographer Jefta Hoekendijk’s series Aura features shimmering bodies in motion and dazzling colors. The feel of these images is electric as nude models are coated from head to toe with a metallic covering. Bright greens, purples, teals, and more radiate from their every movement.
The eye-catching effect was done without the use of post-production enhancements. “This is metal body paint and lighting effects directly made [from] shooting,” Hoekendijk writes. Any sort of movement will cause these trails of jewel-toned light. The result is a series of seductive and alluring photos where you’re focused on the invisible now made visible.
Hoekendijk experiments with painting, photography, sculpture, and video that’s centered around movement and the human body. Above all, his work is interested in the body as a vessel for expressing his varied artistic voice.
The following are B/D’s picks for today’s awesome architecture. Sometimes it seems architects don’t get enough recognition for their work as artists, but they are truly masters of sculpture and design (and not only that… they know calculus). Read on to drool over the art works that you (wish you could) live in.
I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about dance, especially when it comes to ballet. I am, however, a huge Fall fan, which led me to these videos of choreography by Michael Clark, a British dancer who famously shook up the modern dance world by staging avant-garde productions often set to experimental or post-punk music. These clips come from a 1988 ballet called “I Am Curious, Orange” which was scored entirely by The Fall. As far as I can tell, there hasn’t been much proper documentation done of this work, but these YouTube clips, taken from Charles Atlas’ long out of print film Hail the New Puritan will have to suffice.
Anne Lindberg is interested in creating work that resonates with non-verbal primal human conditions. Seeking to make work that is subtle, rhythmic, abstract and immersive Lindberg finds beauty in creating disturbances by layering materials to create varying tones, densities and pathways.
The architecture and design practice, Serie, created an amazing installation for the Maximum India Festival on the ceiling of the Monsoon Club at the Kennedy Center in DC in 2011. Incorporating over one million threads the piece is a 3D carpet that was inspired by the traditional flat woven rugs in India (Dhurries).
Gabriel Dawe’s breath-taking, mind-bending large-scale installations are made out of nothing but thread. The works are created using sets of string that can be up to 50 miles long. They play with space, dimension and perception.
Brian Wills is also interested in perception and rhythm and the way the brain processes pattern. His hand-made works are created by individually winding threads around board, or other material. Creating dynamic surfaces his works are engaging and beautiful.
French artist Sebastien Preschoux makes thread installations in sections of the forest. Capturing the installations for posterity via photography the results are stunning. We imagine the works sitting quietly in the forest, as if created by a spider from another world, delicately vibrant against the natural backdrop waiting to be discovered.
Dutch-born Lauren Hillebrandt‘s photographs objects and reframes them in other-worldy, digitally-made landscapes. Her latest series, Flat Landscapes, presents various ordinary objects surrounded by bright panels of color to subvert the norms of still-life art, and recently won Foam Magazine‘s still life contest.
More photography from this series and some of her earlier work is shown below.