MASAYOSHI SUKITA


MASAYOSHI SUKITA

Born on May 5, 1938, in Nogata Shi, in the Fukuoka district, Japan, Masayoshi Sukita received his first camera as a present from his mother: it was a Rolleiflex which he immediately used to take a portrait of her. According to Sukita, that photo is to this day his most important one. He would later attend a photography school in Osaka, but, driven by his passion for jazz and early rock’n’roll, he found a better visual education in movie theaters in Nagasaki, watching movies with Marlon Brando, James Dean and Elvis Presley. He also fell in love with the French Nouvelle Vague and film directors like Alain Resnais, while he kept an eye on the works by photographers like Dennis Stock, who had immortalized his idol James Dean, and the pioneers from Magnum. He thus began working as an assistant for the famous photographer Shisui Tanahashi

In 1961 Sukita joined the photographic department at Daiko Advertising Inc. di Osaka. In 1965 he moved to Tokyo, beginning to shoot fashion and promotional videos for Delta Monde. In 1970 he went freelance, travelling often to New York, fascinated by the Andy Warhol subculture. While in New York he managed to see one of the very last concerts by Jimi Hendrix. But Sukita's destiny would be forever changed in London when in 1972 he met and photographed Marc Bolan and T.Rex. Going to a concert by David Bowie at the Royal Festival Hall had a major impact on Sukita who, just a few days later, contacted Bowie's management. Bowie's official photographer, Mick Rock, gave him thumbs up, and this is how a legendary collaboration that would last over 40 years took off. During that period of time Sukita would shoot several album covers for Bowie, including Heroes, Tin Machine and The Next Day, besides publishing several photo books.

In 2009 several photographs by Sukita were featured in the exhibition “Who Shot Rock & Roll” at the Brooklyn Museum. In 2010 he published the photo book Yellow Magic Orchestra by Sukita, followed in 2012 by Bowie by Sukita. Speed of Life for Genesis Publications, that covers his entire collaboration with Bowie. Among his other books A Film by Jim Jarmusch: Mystery Train (1989), David Bowie ‘KI’ by Masayoshi Sukita (1992) and T.Rex 1972 by Sukita (2007). His works have been exhibited at the Creation Gallery G8, The Guardian Garden (2006), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Shibuya Parco Museum, Paul Smith Space Gallery (2012), SNAP Galleries in London, Inter Media Station IMS in Fukuoka (2013), Bigstep in Osaka (2014). Sukita is still very active as a photographer in advertising, music and films. 

Galleries by MASAYOSHI SUKITA (1)

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