Flowers preyed on Araki’s imagination as symbols of Eros and Thanatos since his childhood. Growing up nearby Jyokanji temple in downtown Tokyo, a place where spirits of courtesans from Yoshiwara were enshrined, Araki used to watch the cut flowers offered at the graveyards. To Araki, arranging decayed flowers is a form of revival, and photography records the beauty of brevity eternally.
Flowers become more enriched with life as they approach their death.
The most beautiful moment is just before they perish.
When coming close to them, one is enraptured with sexual spirituality and I can hear the Flower Rondeau.
Nobuyoshi Araki, Kakyoku, Shinchosha, 1997, p.1
Departing from his earlier practice of placing flowers among a ruined setting, the series “Flower Rondeau” emphasizes the fully-bloomed blossoms’ own corruption in close-ups. The lush petals are imbued with an undisguised sensual undertone and the bold, unexpected color combinations create a “flower-fuck scene” as described by the artist.
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