Reka Nyari - Ink Stories - from June 06 to June 30, 2019
Galerie Claude Samuel
69, avenue Daumesnil
Our heroine, Ginzilla, was born into a traditional Japanese family with extremely strict conservative values. This suffocated his wild heart, generating acts of rebellion perhaps more visible than the striking defiance marks, written in permanent ink on the canvas of his body. These images tell the story of her life; illustrations of tigers, wolves and dragons contrast the social expectations of women's submission and obedience. Ginzilla's first lover was a tattoo artist, a predilection that guided her sexual journey. All her body art has been composed and performed by lovers, which gives her a personal meaning while providing a true map of her life. Naive, raw and resilient, Nyari describes her subject as a woman whose sexuality is defined independently of the man.
These dynamic photographs revisit traditional concepts of femininity by juxtaposing the symbolism of the Japanese'Geisha' with that of the tattoos of Yakuski (Japanese gangster) (Irezumju). Irezumju tattoos require a painful and meticulous method of manually inserting needles into the skin. Associated with the criminal activity of the Yakuski gangs, the members would present themselves as Irezumi Tattoos. Because of its painful process, Irezumju is considered a mark of the recipient's bravery and proof of insubordination. Despite the growing trend of tattoos among non-yakuza people, they are still widely stigmatized in Japanese society.
By presenting her work in the form of large-scale, superbly conceived photographs, Nyari elevates her model to that of the goddess, or perhaps the Virgin Mary, subverting the concepts of purity and sexuality, religion and sin.
Born in 1979 in Helsinki, and raised in Finland and Hungary, Reka Nyari arrived in New York at the age of seventeen. After studying at the School of Visual Arts, she began modelling and discovered her interest in photography. The cinematography and eccentric narratives of Roman Polanski and David Lynch influence his work as much as the art of Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Miles Aldridge and Cindy Sherman. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries in the United States and Europe. His 225-page monograph entitled "Female Fatal: Female Erotic Photography" is published in 6 languages and sold worldwide.
Living and working in New York, Reka Nyari is active in everything from fashion and art photography to videography, including the development of installation and performance pieces. Oscillating between mischievous eroticism and melancholic splendour, her work uses and explores the traditional ideals of beauty and gender to portray sexuality from a predominantly female perspective. Combining vocabulary from the field of narrative, superposition of personal stories and fictional content; nudity, gesture, gaze and objects become intrinsically linked to female identity.