The Araki Exhibition at Mana Contemporary
Of the many photographers whose work I admire and respect Araki makes the top list.
I love Araki’s visual fertility, he has produced several hundred photo books in his career, but what really resonates with me is his use of nudity and sexuality to explore even more obscure and private aspects of human life and society.
His images transmit me the constant enthusiasm, inner strength and humor, which is present in most of his work and clearly visible if you watch the documentary being shown at the exhibition “Arakimentari” (which you can also watch HERE– with Italian subtitles-something that certainly works for me…)
Araki is a man who was able to use his creativity to fight back tragedy life dealt him, such as the premature death of his wife, when the pictures he took during her last days were published in a book titled Winter Journey and, more recently, documenting his own bout with cancer by creating another body of work, the book “Tokyo Zenritsusengan”.
I decided to venture through Manhattan saturday “tunnel traffic” thanks to the availability of a swift and comfortable bus shuttle service, which took me, free of charge, from Chelsea, in front of Milk Gallery, to Mana Contemporary, in Jersey City, New Jersey. Kudos to the organizers for that!!
Once there, I was able to admire many large prints in the exhibition, all beautifully sequenced and presented. Also, there was an entire wall covered with Araki’s books and other publications as well as an interesting spread of some of his original Polaroids.
What I probably enjoyed most, was a panel of several hundreds of his original medium format negatives, cleverly enclosed between two panes of glass, in the middle of the main room. I spent a really long time admiring the vibrant colors of many of those beautiful frames and, perhaps because I am a photographer, I felt particularly privileged to be able to look so closely at the negatives themselves.
I am not sure how long the exhibition will stay at Mana Contemporary, but if you are an Araki aficionado like I am I strongly suggest doing your best to go see it.
More info about Mana Contemporary can be found HERE