08 March 2011

Ex-Libris - Alphonse Inoue

Recently I have stumbled upon the amazing ex-libris of Alphonse Inoue, an enigmatic japanese artist.
Sadly, little is known about him, but his beautiful yet disturbing ex-libris speak for themselves: in Inoue's world ball-jointed dolls and young women alike indulge in slightly unsafe sex practices, death seduces life, pretty girls lose their innocence to mythological creatures and wild animals.
In the background nature stands still, and delicate botanica, motionless bodies of water and silent villages reminiscent of 1500's etchings are the only quiet observers of the lasciviousness happening in front of them.
The choice of using chalcography instead of xylography, the preferred technique for japanese ex-libris, indicates a western influence, and so does his subdued erotism, tastefully explicit and never obscene, so different from the boldness of shunga prints, but the roots of his art lie in japanese culture, as one can notice from the omnipresent dualism, typical of taoist Japan, of death versus life.
Although the web lacks any kind of information about his biography, this site offers a quite extensive gallery of Inoue's works.

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