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(Credit: Nobuyoshi Araki)


Explore the world of forbidden erotica in the Taschen sale


As the highest rate premium publisher around Taschen has forever delivered on its mission statement. “Since we started our work as cultural archaeologists in 1980,” it extolls, “Taschen has become synonymous with accessible, eclectic publishing. From our affordable Basic Art series to highly collectable limited editions, we are committed to making the best books on the planet at any prize and any size.”

Straddling the entire cultural hemisphere, the publication has printed some of the finest books on art, music, movies and more in its glowing history. And there is one other area that it finds artistic treasures again and again: the mystic world of forbidden eroticism. Unearthing an alluring and guarded side of culture their look at the creative side of a world often covered is an expose of the human condition.

Below we have curated select titles in their current flash sale where you can snap up stunning books from as little as £5. From the work of Nobuyoshi Araki to the very start of the erotic movement itself.

Forbidden eroticism from Taschen:

Araki – £15

Finding creative impetus in the changing society surrounding him, Nobuyoshi Araki soon become one of Japan’s most prolific artists and while volume doesn’t always equal quality, Araki went about his splurge in such a daring way that it always proved progressive. His most prominent works relate to erotic portraits of modern Japanese women in a very voyeuristic yet performative gaze. 

This sexual bent to his art came from the liberation that Japan was experiencing on this front to as the Taschen publication Araki: Tokyo Lucky Hole, explains: “It started in 1978 with an ordinary coffee shop near Kyoto. Word spread that the waitresses wore no panties under their miniskirts. Similar establishments popped up across the country. Men waited in line outside to pay three times the usual coffee price just to be served by a panty-free young woman.”

There is hubris and humour in his dazzling work, sometimes startling and stark, but always with purpose and never banal, the one thing he captured above all was Japan in transition, which is certainly saying something considering the eye-opening acts at play on the surface. All of this is displayed in the Taschen publication, Araki: Tokyo Lucky Hole, featuring over 800 of his finest works. You can find out more and purchase your own copy by following the link below.

Taschen publication Araki: Tokyo Lucky Hole is available here.

(Credit: Nobuyoshi Araki)
(Credit: Nobuyoshi Araki)
(Credit: Nobuyoshi Araki)

1000 Nudes – £10

These days, nudity is so ubiquitous in our culture that we barely flinch. However, there was once a time when it was salacious to the extent of being criminalised. The story of its rise from the doldrums of the shrouded demimonde to the surface of everyday society is one that is heavily entwined with civilisation itself and says a lot about our fascination with the topic. 

Unsurprisingly, erotic depictions did not merely begin with the camera, there are even Roman monetary coins displaying coitus. However, perhaps equally unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for camera flashes to soon start snapping flesh. When Louis Daguerre presented the world with the first high-quality camera, with images that didn’t fade, in 1839, he opened the world up to a new age of liberation.

This unfurling journey is explored in glorious photographic detail in the Taschen publication, 1000 Nudes: A History of Erotic Photography from 1839-1939. The novel “offers a cross-section of the history of nude photography, ranging from the earliest nude daguerreotypes and ethnographic nude photographs to experimental nude photography.” 

You can find out more and purchase your own copy by clicking here.

(Credit: Taschen)
(Credit: Taschen)
(Credit: Taschen)

Exquisite Mayhem – £5

Suplex sex, leotard busting Swanton Bombs and old school jackhammer action, is all part of the blood, sweat and bikinis in the wild world of W.W.E., or rather weird wrestling eroticism. This is the story of how one of the oldest sports known to man, entered the tangential world of all-American erotic wrestling and the Exquisite Mayhem contained therein. 

In the mid-1960s, the aspiring photographer Theo Ehret entered the Grand Olympic Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles clutching his beloved humble Rolleiflex camera. At that time, he could not have possibly prognosticated the life he was about to beget as he creaked open the doors to the hushed amphitheatre of bedlam that would soon be bustling. 

Wrestling had always been a big school sport in the States and neighbouring Mexico, but the gaudy and brutal live shows of entertainment wrestling were restricted to the hardy few amongst the demimonde who could stomach them. Then came the advent of TV in the 1950s and all of a sudden, through the filter of a screen that sort of organised brutality was what the world was craving to bring some pizzazz to their dismal daily lives. This collection tells the tale of one of the more surreal off-shoots from that explosion via Theo Ehret’s wildly entertaining images.

You can find out more about the book Exquisite Mayhem and how to get your hands on the Taschen publication by clicking here

(Credit: Theo Ehret / Taschen)
(Credit: Theo Ehret / Taschen)
(Credit: Theo Ehret / Taschen)

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