Yutaka Sakano is born in Hokkaido in 1951. “One day of July 1983, I received a phone call from Midori Kitamura, Issey Miyake’s assistant who was in charge of press relations at the time. She told me that a young artist named Basquiat, a sensation in New York, comes to Japan, and she asks me if I could photograph him for a men’s fashion magazine. I immediately reserve studio # 8 in the basement of Studio Azabu, which no longer exists today. On the day of the shoot, I load a handmade backdrop into my car and head to the meeting in a good mood. It’s the first time I’ve met Basquiat. I don’t know anything about him. He looks like a wonderful young man. He takes initiatives during the shoot, improvising all kinds of poses. It’s also the first time he’s meeting me, and we don’t speak each other’s language; instead, we opt for gesture communication. He does his best to comply with the guidelines given by the Japanese photographer that I am. Even though the photos are for publication in colour, I still take black and white photos for my own use. And if I find the subject particularly interesting, we’ll do all the shooting as well.”


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