Nobuyoshi Araki, born in Tokyo in 1940, is one of Japan’s most well-known and controversial photographers. Araki studied photography and filmmaking at Chiba University, where he developed an interest in Italian Neo-Realist and French Nouvelle Vague films, in particular the works of the directors Cari Theodor Dreyer and Robert Bresson. This influence is clear Araki's diaristic, erotically charged works, which are equally influenced by Japan’s urbanization and newfound commercialism after the Second World War, as well as in the artist’s stylistic references to Japanese toys, Karaoke bars, and other aspects of contemporary Japanese culture.
Araki has published hundreds of books, and in addition to experimenting in filmmaking, he has also photographed contemporary musicians Lady Gaga and Bjork. His photography, which has been shown in group and solo exhibitions worldwide, is included in the collections of significant institutions including the Tate Modern, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo’s Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, and Paris’s Fondation Cartier.