A first for 20three, I am posting up some Erotica. I would not like readers of this blog to think that this is a new direction for the 20three, or that I have an extensive erotica collection, which may or may not be true… but all this besides, I would like to introduce some images by Japanese iconoclast Toshio Saeki.

Toshio Saeki himself describes his work as Erotica, but I think the somewhat twisted and nightmarish subject matter make his work a little more than just titillation. His work is often labeled as Ero guro – “a literary and artistic movement from 1920s and ’30s Japan that puts its focus on eroticism, sexual corruption and decadence” (definition taken from wikipedia). For the western reader there is not much information on Saeki – a web search brings up a few pages, the most informative being at www.akatako.net.

The information I do have is mainly gleaned from the introduction of ‘Onikage’ (published by Last Gasp) which I had imported from the US – this book gave me a little more background on the man himself, especially this quote, written in 2009 when he was 75, about his childhood, which informs a little on how Saeki developed his singular view…

Amidst working hard on sketches of plaster figures and oil paint, I gradually found myself drawing forbidden erotc pitures. At that time, I had no experience with women yet, so my imagination was persistently obscene. I drew the pictures to satisfy the few friends I had, but first and foremost, they had to arouse and infatuate me sexually, or else I would not be happy with them. So as a gratifying a task as it was to me, it was quite a difficult practise. I had no idea that this secret creative engagement would turn out to be the strong foundation for my future works.

(Read the full extract here)

Another great quirk I love about his work is a result his childhood fascination with famous japanese movie stars – these famous screen heros would often crop up in his work, as the creepy male protagonists, lurking in the background, behind a doorpost or behind a tree…

Here is a small selection of images by Toshio Saeki:

 

Toshio Saeki

 

Toshio Saeki

 

Toshio Saeki

 

Toshio Saeki

 

Toshio Saeki

 

Toshio Saeki

 

Toshio Saeki

 

 

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