SELECTED IMAGES FROM POLA EROS
a group of 200 Polaroid SX-70 prints, 31 signed in ink on the reverse, 1999-2000 (200)
Each 3 by 3 in. (7.6 by 7.6 cm.)
This group of 200 Polaroid SX-70 prints is in generally excellent condition.
The photographs are currently stored in archival sleeves, with 4 Polaroids per preserver.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, circa 2000
Nobuyoshi Araki often works with several cameras as each device will render a very different finished product. He favors shots that feel casual and intimate, and tends to avoid making photographs that look overly polished. The Polaroid is the ideal camera for his practice, creating unique instant results without dark room or digital editing.
Sex and everyday life are intertwined in Araki’s oeuvre. Reminiscent of the snapshots one might find in a family album, the content of the extensive grouping of Polaroids offered here ranges from seemingly pornographic imagery to mundane observational scenes. The series is named for Eros, the Greek god of desire and sensual love. Many of the Polaroids in this group depict kinbaku-bi, which literally translates to ‘the beauty of tight binding,’ a Japanese style of bondage and a recurring exploration in Araki’s work. Standing in stark contrast to these graphic nudes in the group are images of his beloved cat Chiro; landscapes; light and sky studies; city scenes; pictures of plastic toys; women in traditional Japanese dress; and portraits of Björk, whom he photographed for the cover of her album Telegram in 1996. This selection of Polaroids also includes many images of flowers, a charged subject in Araki’s hands and one that has straddled in the history of art the banal and the highly sexualized.
At the time of this writing, the photographs offered here represent the most significant offering of Araki’s unique Polaroids to come to auction.