Friday, October 02, 2009


Some exciting news for fans of Pop Art, bloody muzan-e imagery, and the deviant sexual arts!

Last Gasp will be publishing a hardcover, large-sized book (11¾" x 14½"), showcasing the art of master erotic draftsman, Toshio Saeki! Onikage is 56 pages of vibrant colors and nasty surrealism. Check out details and preorder it on Last Gasp's Onikage site.

I got to see an advance proof of pages from this book, and it's really lush and funky! Fans of the genre definitely know of Toshio Saeki (or at least, recognize his visual style from the internet or from visits to Japan / Kinokuniya shops in the US). But he's mostly been woefully unavailable and unknown in the United States. It's a shame, since Saeki's sensibilities and style influences and relates so closely to the aesthetics of some our favorites: Suehiro Maruo, Kazuichi Hanawa, and Hideshi Hino.

The book is notable, not only for being the first art book properly released by an English publisher, but for its super-unusual format. To show off not just Saeki's art, but also his process, the book features a number of vellum overlays. From the site:
While most images are shown here in full color, we have presented some in their original black and white format, with overlays reproducing Saeki's method for adding color to these pictures. Saeki typically does not apply color directly to his black and white artwork, but instead uses these overlays to enumerate the precise values of the colors he wants. He works with the terminology of the four-color printing process: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK).

For example, he indicates a woman's skin tone should be reproduced with 10% magenta, while her nipples should be 60% magenta. Most of the men in Saeki's artwork have a skin tone that is 30% magenta, 20% cyan, and 50% yellow (no black). He calls this method chinto printing - the picture is complete only after it has been printed. It is a modern version of the ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese woodcut prints or paintings produced between the 17th and 20th centuries. Ukiyo-e were works of collaboration between the eshi (artist) and the surishi (printer). Saeki is paying homage to this style, and considers himself an eshi. It is our hope that by illuminating this technique, it better helps the reader to appreciate Saeki's unique style, deep philosophy as an artist, and his immense talent

Though it's a pricey book, it seems like a great addition to any fan of surrealist, ero-guro-nonsense art. I am hoping to get some pics of the physical book itself to show the overlays and size. According to their Twitter, Last Gasp shipped advanced copies of Onikage to the New York Art Book Fair. I'm not sure when the actual release date is-- will update this post once I find out :)


Trog Spacebird said...

WoW, must have actually, but if it is too pricy , hm.

zytroop said...

fucking sweet. A no brainer at $39.95

Joseph Luster said...

All I can say about this is GIMME DAT.

Phantom of Pulp said...

No Saeki book is ever too expensive.

Considering the fact that most of his other books (close to a dozen) are only available from Japan (some from Last Gasp) and have higher prices, this is practically a giveaway.

Saeki's the best.