01_Giovanni_di_Paolo

Nobuyoshi Araki, Untitled (2/2008,) 2008.

Laserchrome print, 8.25 x 11 inches, (21 x 29.7 cm). Signed in marker on verso. Estimate: from $2,500 to $3,500

Notes: Nobuyoshi Araki is arguably Japan’s greatest living photographer – and certainly its most controversial. Much of Araki’s work confronts taboo subjects such as sex, nudity and death head on. And yet his subjects range from poetic scenes of old Tokyo to sensual close-ups of exotic flowers as well as, most notoriously, erotic images of women bound in rope.

Nobuyoshi Araki is world-renowned for his controversial, erotic, often sadomasochistic photography influenced by Shunga, the erotic art of the Edo period (1603–1867) as well as contemporary, pop-informed imagery. Renowned for clashing with the authorities, in 1988 police ordered the removal from sale the magazine Shashin Jidai, which featured the Japanese photographer's works; obscenity charges were levelled against the artist during a 1992 exhibition and 1993 saw the arrest of a gallery curator who dared to display Araki's graphic nudes. Araki is one of the most prolific photographers working today, having published over 350 books of photography including 'Sentimental Journey', 'Tokyo Lucky Hole', and 'Shino'. He has also contributed work to Icelandic singer Bjork's album, Telegram and to the Sunrise anime series, Brain Powered. Although inspired by Japanese Shunga, his work is thematically universal, as is evident by the international acclaim it has received. Araki has exhibited extensively worldwide, including Tokyo and Paris, generating international critical acclaim. His first major UK retrospective, Self, Life, Death, was held at the Barbican Art Gallery, London in 2005.

Artnet Auctions. Tuesday, January 19, 2010, 1:00 PM EST  www.artnet.com