In 2005, the brilliant and controversial Nobuyoshi Araki, one of Japan’s leading photographers, traveled to Europe for major exhibitions of his work at London’s Barbican Centre and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Already celebrated for his unflinching portrayals of Tokyo in collections such as Tokyo Still Life and Tokyo Lucky Hole, the Japanese photographer embraced the opportunity to turn his lens onto London and Paris, two of Europe’s most historic, dynamic, and culturally diverse capitals. Much more than a travelogue, Dirty Pretty Things is also an account of the emotional journey of the photographer and the two women he loves.
Also included are excerpts from Araki’s journal, in which he reflects on subjects as varied as travel and the nature of photography. Accompany Araki as he explores the people and streetscapes of these two great cities with insatiable curiosity. He strips his subjects bare, both literally and figuratively, in this searing investigation into the lives and bodies of the denizens of London and Paris. Informed by his legendary erotic Japanese photography, Dirty Pretty Things is the world’s first chance to see everything from food to bathrooms seen through the eyes of the leading chronicler of Japanese urban life, both high and low.
Nobuyoshi Araki (荒木 経惟, Araki Nobuyoshi, b. 1940) is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist professionally known by the mononym Arākī (アラーキー). Known primarily for photography that blends eroticism and bondage in a fine art context, has published over 500 books.