Back in the seventies, a photographer crept around Tokyo’s parks, watching as people (straight and gay) went at it, observed by fervent Peeping Toms. He showed his grainy, life-size images in Tokyo’s Komai Gallery in 1979, alongside blurry stills lifted from sex tapes left behind by patrons of a pay-by-the-hour hotel. The show was an underground success, but paranoia set in. Yoshiyuki (a pseudonym—his real name is still unknown) apparently destroyed many of the images and set up shop as a family photographer in the Sears Portrait Studio vein. Interest in his work reemerged with the 2006 publication of Martin Parr’s The Photobook: A History—Volume 2, where he was mentioned as a little-known innovator. The Yossi Milo Gallery tracked down the reclusive artist, and he agreed to reprint photographs from the remaining negatives for the first showing of his work in nearly 30 years.
Yossi Milo; opens September 6.