‘Last by Leica’ is an ongoing project started in 2012, through which Nobuyoshi Araki documents his life, artistic work and photographic practice in the form of a visual diary.
The series embodies a dual significance, all the works were captured by his Leica M7, the last analogue camera from the manufacturer, and marks the final episode of his Leica series after the success of ‘Life by Leica’ which he began in the 1980s and continued in 2000 with ‘Love by Leica’. Underlying the daring eroticism for which the artist is celebrated, ‘Last by Leica’ presents a touch of darkness and sorrow in capturing the minutiae of everyday life. Through a poetic lens that draws expression from Araki’s personal experiences, the photographer delves into existential questions of physicality and sexuality, exploring fragmentary identities and society’s cult of beauty. The exhibitied artworks depict daily objects, mannequins, human figures, and ordinary people, many marked by an undeniable melancholic aesthetic that belies a sentimental journey for Araki.
Accompanying ‘Last by Leica’, 20 recent polaroids produced by a Polaroid 600 camera using The Impossible Projects’s Black & Red 600 Douchrome film will also be exhibited. A frequent medium used by Araki, these instant film shots present unexpected outcomes that provide the artist with sustained interest and excitement. For Araki, unexposed images and even leakages of the developer paste can be likened to an artistic awakening, much like religious encounters.