"Human Nature" Book Review


Written by Gabino Iglesias

Published by Bongoût

 



Photographs by Daikichi Amano
Foreword by Agnès Giard
2010, 132 pages, Art

 

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Review:


Sorry to have to break the news to you, but your nightmares are no longer a private affair. There is man who holds the key to the nastiest, kinkiest, slimiest and weirdest corner of our collective consciousness. His name is Daikichi Amano and Human Nature, a book of his photographic work released by Bongout, is like collection of images pulled from a fever dream you had after watching a few hours of the most hardcore anime Japan has to offer.

Don't be confused by the paragraph above and think this is only titillating human-squid intercourse: Amano's work tackles the same big questions that all serious art does, but he seems to have found some answers at the point where zoophilia, death, rebirth, glop, nausea and beauty meet. Human Nature is his attempt to share that; it's an invitation to rethink what you know from his very unique Japanese/artistic/visual perspective. Nothing is clear here except he wants you to react to his art. By throwing together attractiveness, nudity, viscous fluids, ambiguity, gore and sex, Amano creates horrendous images that inspire a quiet horror while simultaneously forcing the viewer to try to decipher their meaning.

 

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Amano was a porn director before becoming a world-renowned photographer. In his work he strived for the something special: "I love to film the face of a woman desperately trying to keep from vomiting." In Human Nature, there are photographs in which he seemed to have the same goal in mind. As a result, the viewer is dragged into a world where nipples and tentacles collide and words simply become useless when trying to describe what is being seeing.

How can something be concurrently repugnant and sublime? You'll have to check out the book to seek an answer to that question. The best literature gets reviews full of adjectives and, in the case of Amano, the same needs to be done, but those adjectives have to be paired in order to convey the power of the images. Human Nature is sensual and monstrous, weird and fascinating, unique and repulsing, pornographic and titillating.

Mentioning extreme zoophile images might not be the best invitation to get a book, but keep in mind that the horrific slipperiness, dead frogs and strange antlered man with a dead turtle for underwear are only the surface. In Japanese, the same word is used for life and sex: Sei. Amano explores the limits of both, so I suggest buying the book and exploring those bizarre extremes with him.

 

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Grades:

 

Overall:

 

 

 

 

 

Want to comment on this review? You can leave one below or head over to the HorrorTalk Review Forum.

 

About The Author
Gabino Iglesias
Staff Writer
Gabino lives in Austin, Texas, where he reads an inordinate amount of books and pens down reviews only for the big bucks he makes doing so. When he was about 12, his mother would tell him that reading all the H.P. Lovecraft and Poe would not lead to anything good. Being on the staff page at HorrorTalk is the confirmation of that.
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