The Japanese photographer obsessed over his wife and muse Yoko, documenting her every detail, every quirk and glance, finding all of her beauty and preserving it for us to see - until the day she left him in 1976.
Perhaps his scrutiny became too much. Maybe the camera lens detached him from his subject and left her feeling like a bird in a cage, in isolated adulation. In her own words,
“With a camera in front of his eye, he could see; not without.”
Once she was gone he turned his camera to new muse, a more ominous one, the black feathers and shining eyes of the raven. In his seminal photobook, "The Solitude Of Ravens" he says more about loss and loneliness through his images of these birds and the places they inhabit than many books can.
The images reflect the mental state of the artist, as all the best art does, and without Yoko, Fukase fell into a deep depression. Depression brought with it alcohol and together they abused each other. Despite remarrying Fukase continued to photograph his ravens, and he continued to drink, until one final drunken night in 1992 when he fell down the stairs at a bar, and into a coma, in which he would remain until his death twenty years later in 2012.
Yoko visited him in the hospital twice a month.
This is my favourite image of his. Birds and blackness. Angela would love it.