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Archive for the 'books' Category

Tokyo Lucky Hole (Book Review)

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Tokyo Lucky Hole by Nobuyoshi Araki

Santa brought me a special gift this year in the form of Tokyo Lucky Hole by Nobuyoshi Araki and published by TASCHEN. If you don’t know anything about Araki then I’ll find it difficult to begin: Araki is a leading figure in Japanese erotic, bondage, pornography and art photography. His obsession for pushing the limits, the trademark round dark glasses and a boundless energy for sexual exploration have made him possibly the most recognisable face in the erotic genre. This book, created between 1983-1985, offers the reader over 800 photographs created behind the doors of Tokyo’s vibrant sex industry.

Araki was joined on these forays by Akira Suei, editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine Photo Age. The magazine featured mainly Araki’s work and pushed the boundaries of what was allowed in a Japanese publication of the era. When pubic hairs were made illegal in photographs they pushed back by shaving the models’ pussies. When their pussies were required to be covered in ink, Araki and Suei had the pubic hair manually inked onto the photographs. When underwear was required by law, the tactic was to use transparent material.

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Rennie Ellis: Decade 1970-1980

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Rennie Ellis: Decade 1970-1980

Rennie Ellis (1940-2003) is one of those photographers who captured the urban Australian experience of the 1970s and 1980s. Vietnam, the fall of Whitlam, gay and female rights campaigns, the post-hippie push to legalise marijuana; an adventure from Sydney’s Kings Cross to the streets of Melbourne’s Prahran. Rennie Ellis captured the rebellion, excess and debauchery. Prostitutes, policemen, politicians and power trippers. The book Rennie Ellis: Decade 1970-1980 follows the meandering sunlight of Rennie’s camera across the party decade. He followed the never-ending party; the pictures are a result of his obsession with recording life as he experienced it in the raw.

This book was originally a dream project that Rennie had put together over a long period of time. He found funding to produce and a publisher to complete. Yet, despite his publisher admonishing him for the content, it was never completed. His mock-up of Decade sat unrealised. Rennie’s words from that mock-up are in Decade 1970-1980 along with his choice of photographs. The book was further filled out with photographs deemed to be iconic or important to the time and sourced from the “Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive and the State Library of Victoria Rennie Ellis Collection”.

One of my favourite photographs is that cover – Fitzroy Extrovert 1974. I’ve always loved looking at Mirka Mora 1973. And In a Hurry, Flinders Street Station 1980 depicts a young sailor that I recognise from my time in the Royal Australian Navy. He’s familiar, but I never knew his name. He stands with his mother waiting for that time he would have to say goodbye at the station.

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Carlo Mollino: Polaroids (Book Review)

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Carlo Mollino: Polaroids

The 288 page, 8.8 x 10 inches, 3.7 pound hardback copy of Carlo Mollino: Polaroids by Fulvio Ferrari and his son Napoleone Ferrari is an extremely well produced photobook. The cover is an opulent red fabric with a reproduced Mollino polaroid attached in the centre and the inside cover design at back and front smacks of opulent material to the taste of the photographer.

Carlo Mollino (1905-1973) was the son of an affluent engineer, Eugenio Mollino, from Turin, Northern Italy. Carlo was a successful designer, architect and photographer; an aviator and a trained engineer. He’d published Il Messagio Dalla Camera Obscura in 1949, republished under the English translated title Message from the Darkroom in 2007, with statuesque models and discussion about the nature of photography.

He owned a number of properties. The affluent large apartment he inhabited in Turin with antique furnishings and a housekeeper. He owned a 2 story house in the hills above Turin called Villa Zaira (purchased in 1960). And he had the use of his father’s prestigious studio in Turin for work – the place he made the first black and white polaroids of the project. However, Carlo Mollino also purchased, but never spent a night in, what is now known as Casa Mollino, an 18th Century house on the banks of the Po River in the historic centre of Turin. Carlo Mollino spent years and great expense reconstructing the Casa Mollino, calling it in his drawings “Warrior’s House of Rest”. Fulvio Ferrari, co-author of this book, is the current owner of Casa Mollino.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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