Wednesday, June 20, 2012

r.i.p. - masahisa fukase

all photographs by mashisa fukase

masahisa fukase died on june 9, 2012, he was 78 years old. i'm so sad to hear of his death & sad that i accidentally came across this information.  in my opinion, he was one of the most amazing photographers.  in 2010, a panel of 5 experts selected karasu (ravens) as the best photobook published between 1986 & 2009. it is the one book i covet to own the most.
his pursuit of ravens began when his wife of 13 years, yoko, left him. while on a train returning to his hometown of hokkaido he got off the train & saw the ravens & became obsessed with them, with their darkness & loneliness. (before then yoko was the main subject of his photos) according to yoko, fukase was an intense & obsessive character despite the joyousness of the images he made of her early in his career. she described their life together as moments of "suffocating dullness interspersed by violent & near suicidal flashes of excitement." after they split up, he suffered from bouts of depression & heavy drinking. "i work and photograph while hoping to stop everything," he once said. "in that sense, my work may be some kind of revenge drama about living now."
in 1992, five years after karasu was published,  fukase  fell down a flight of stairs in a bar & suffered traumatic brain injury. he remained in a coma until his death. his former wife, now remarried, visited him twice a month is hospital. "with a camera in front of his eye, he could see; not without," she told an interviewer. "he remains part of my identity; that's why i still visit him."

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