The Mysterious and Sensual Illustrations of Takato Yamamoto

Takato Yamamoto is a Japanese artist who, though not completely shrouded in mystery, is fairly inaccessible to the world outside his home nation. His official website is mostly in Japanese, with the only thing translatable to these prying eyes being a naked woman bound by ropes and left to dangle naked next to what is presumably a list of his exhibitions. Naturally, art is a visual idiom, where imagery is universal. A look through the body of work produced by Yamamoto reveals an art form that covers the usual Japanese subjects – naked women tied up in particular – but which also shows a love of Western art. Amidst his ghostly faces, you can see the influence of the Norwegian artist Munch. Amidst the ornamented, doll-like women who stare abjectly out at us, you can the influence of the Austrian Klimt. There is an obsession with life and death here, one which is expertly and beautifully crafted.

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