Ask Morgana 172: Takato Yamamoto

Japanese artist Takato Yamamoto is, for me, an exciting find. He works in acrylics on paper or canvas, and deliberately reproduces the exquisite aesthetic of ukiyo-e prints, but also packs gothic detail into his artwork. His subject is the bizarre, the violent, the fetishistic, and the vampiristic. You may see ‘cosplay’ or ‘Gothic Lolita’ fetish, or bondage; you may see the agony of a slender, Japanese Saint Sebastian pierced with arrows, or an oriental Salome with the head of John the Baptist on a dish; you may see, on the other hand, the tenderness of yuri and futari. The violence he depicts is always implied rather than depicted – we get the sense that it has just happened, or is just about to happen.

It is difficult to select from his work something that exists purely for its erotic impact, not least of all because although we can infer from his subject matter that a person is of majority and simply indulging in a cosplay delight in seifuku or Alice-in-Wonderland petticoats or chambermaids’ aprons, the natural slightness of a traditional Japanese stereotype makes that majority ambiguous. Here, then, are a handful of examples, in which I am assuming that the figure depicted is at least 18 years of age. Even so, as with the violence in some works, the eroticism of these pieces is often implied rather than blatantly stated.

Put the name of this artist into your favourite search engine and admire the results…









Images reproduced under ‘fair use’ provisions.

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