In 1980, on the heels of the unprecedented success of the film Star Wars, Hajime Sorayama’s first robot pin-up was commissioned by a Japanese whiskey company requesting a sexy female character loosely based on C-3P0. Four decades and dozens of commissions, collaborations, books, exhibitions, and awards later, the Japanese artist and illustrator has produced an unparalleled body of erotic artwork, blurring the boundaries between realism and fantasy, flesh and metal, and the human and non-human.
In this first presentation of his work at the Museum of Sex, Sorayama’s playful embrace of duality is on full display. His figures are both provocatively hybrid and culturally promiscuous, incorporating references from East and West, past and present, and classical art and pop culture. His painting style is itself a study in contrasts, combining traditional Japanese brushwork with an original airbrush technique to achieve a super-realistic style for even the most otherworldly scenarios.
Sorayama’s open-ended approach to sexual fantasy is particularly relevant now—when we are all cyborgs, when the real and the virtual are almost indistinguishable, and when sex robots, AI companions, and virtual celebrities are more science fact than fiction. Hajime Sorayama: Desire Machines provides an opportunity to contemplate what sexual agency, objectification, privacy, exhibitionism, exclusivity, and intimacy mean in our current digital moment.
Opens January 2024 at the all-new Museum of Sex Miami, 2200 NW 24th Avenue, Miami, FL 33142.
Visit museumofsex.com for details.