“Language is a direct medium and communicates meaning and intention straight. A photograph, on the other hand, is subject to the viewer’s memory, aesthetics, and feelings—all of which affect how the photograph is seen.” A spotlight on Japanese master photographer Daido Moriyama.
Daido Moriyama is a jack of many trades; he is a graphic designer, film maker, writer, but renowned mainly in photography. Most of his photos know no color but instead a signature of high contrasting black & white grain with an aesthetic and confrontational inspiration from artists such as William Klein. Theartist was born in 1938 and is best known for his photography depicting society postwar in Japan, photos of the scare indigenous world that had not been yet industrialised, while tights and lips are some of his recurrent motifs. Around the time of his documentation of Japan, he would meet and become involved in a group magazine called Provoke. The introduction to this magazine and to the new, young artists within it would expose a side of Moriyama that was layered underneath. There is still his original street photography style but a new presence of suggestive, sensual photographs has arisen. Because he is a photographer who specializes in documentation and candid moments, these lewd photos come off to be quite personal as if they were your own photos and you took them. He would capture a part of the body in a way that would seem to be your personal favorite part of that person; catching a raw, primal moment that produces a feeling of familiarity within a stranger. He was persuaded by many artists, but the critical influence was Andy Warhol. After seeing Warhol’s silk screens in 1969, Moriyama would also make some of his own. He would create a reproduction and duplication of a primary focal point of his work and made many versions of similar images to be seen as one. Moriyama’s work has been collected by numerous prominent public and private collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Words: Maylyn Bertorelli / @twiggymay