Hands up who’s heard of Satoshi Saikusa?

I came across these images the other day, it turned out to be the work of artist Satoshi Saikusa.
When worked on Adidas I was constantly on the hunt for photographers, we were shooting athletes from all over the world on a regular basis, and trying to shoot them in a way that was distinctive and own-able was the goal.
Satoshi was always top of my list.
Unfortunately, for either financial, timing or simply clients feeling he was too exotic, I could never make it happen.
It made me want to dig out a few tear-sheets and have a look at why I wanted to work with Satoshi so desperately.

a) Sometimes, so saturated it’s as if he’s requisitioned all available inks in the area to use on a single image.
6 sheet Posters6 sheet Posters6 sheet Posters'Fleur-de-Rouge' Satoshi Saikusa, 1981'Fleur-de-Rouge-3' Satoshi Saikusa'Throne' Satoshi Saikusa'Red TV' Satoshi Saikusa3d51c0f48e63dc78be1eb058f18245fc.jpg'Glory' Satoshi Saikusa'Glory 3' Satoshi Saikusa'Glory 2' Satoshi Saikusa

b) He would sometimes bend the colours to create distinctive, odd colour ranges where skin tones may go blue and whites go green.
Many photographers try this kind of thing, few do it with such a sensitive eye.

6 sheet Posters6 sheet Posters27cda947aae88e7e1939aa3c7ac757e7.jpg'Kirsty Hume & Trish Goff' Satoshi Saikusa, Paris Vogue03ccd2e67c7a1b8361b8bc4df4604d31.jpg26a2d81a488d0ee9581e707d2f49b528.jpg

Difficult to know whether expensive is the right word, but it felt expensive to me, the black’s were always very black, the whites very crisp.
The images were never felt thin.
'corps' satoshi Saihusa.jpg'Fencing Girl' Satoshi Saikusa'Helmet' Satoshi Saikusa'Bike Girls' Satoshi Saikusa'2 Boxing Girls' Satoshi Saikusa'Girl 3' Satoshi Saikusa'Girl 2' Satoshi Saikusae99e2306bc08c8d137e3f8093b90a6cc.jpg'Natasha Poly' Madame-Figaro Magazine-fall-2012 Satoshi Saikusa'Kate Moss' Satoshi Saikusa'Copertina' Satoshi Saikusa'The Pure Wonder' Satoshi Saikusa'Look Down' Satoshi Saikusa'Table & Kate_kirstyhumeTrishGoff_SatoshiSaikusa_6

A fancy sounding word if you don’t know it, it just means combining areas of extreme light and darkness in the same image.
You see it in the paintings of Caravaggio and Rembrandt, in films like ‘The Godfather’, ‘Manhattan’ and ‘Citizen Kane’, as well as lots of photographers ranging from Bill Brandt to Gary Winogrand.
6 sheet Posters6 sheet Posters'Tubini 4-01'Tubini 3' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Tunini 2' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Big Sun 1' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Big Sun 8' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Big Sun 3' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Big Sun 2' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Big Sun 6' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Tubini 5-016 sheet Postersa8403518cc7d059f650e970131d51941.jpg83a8ed3572f39c429a814ffb0349c146.jpg

4. SIMPLE, GRAPHIC SHAPES.R-4397565-1363801870-6437.jpeg.jpg'Mary-Rozzi - Pink Tights' Satoshi Saikusa'B'Bone Hand' Satoshi Saikusa'Vogue Italia Shoot' Satoshi Saikusa'Jane August' Satoshi Saikusa, 1998**838210fcff186b833a4a0e8e9b7b864a--little-black-dresses-black-shift-dresses.jpgH13061980682479827_7.jpg'Orange Cap' Satoshi Saikusa'Escalator' Satoshi Saikusa

Leaning into the frame, as if trying to burst out.'Georgina Grenville ' Satoshi Saikusa, 1996, Vogue It061819d4f3c5ee6c720addcda9fd8a79.jpg'Bun' Satoshi SaikusaGeorgina_Grenville_1996_05_Vogue_It_Ph_Satoshi_Sai__1_

b) Confined, as if aware of where the image crops.6deda0fb363255ff144ee7e0e776d6de.jpg'Pig-Tails' Satoshi Saikusa25612a8e1488177cfe1964338b9734bd--nadja-auermann-w-magazine.jpgSatoshiSaikusa_PortraitDanse_08.jpg'Jean Paul Guatier' Satoshi SaikusaO1317412648898949_2.jpgQ13372312512539851_8.jpgvogue-italia-feb-1993-065.jpg3b6a4a29588a0fb68e0fe927204e3f7a.jpg

It’s what good portraits are supposed to do; capture the unique vibe of the sitter.'Phillip' Satoshi Saikusa'Twins' Satoshi Saikusa'Michelle Pfieffer' Satoshi Saikusa'Jean Reno' Satoshi Saikusa'Spotty Woman_kirstyhumeTrishGoff_SatoshiSaikusa_6'Roman Polanski' Satoshi Saikusa'Fake Leopard_kirstyhumeTrishGoff_SatoshiSaikusa_6'Eva-Green' Satoshi-Saikusa:Charlotte_Gainsbourg' Satoshi_Saikusa.jpg'Kate Moss Netting' Satoshi Saikusa'Annie Lennox 3' Satoshi Saikusa.jpg'Kate Moss 4' Satoshi Saikusa.jpg'Big Specs' Satoshi Saikusa.jpg

7. REDUCTIVE STILL LIVES.'Flowers' Satoshi Saikusa'Red Bag' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Chair' Satoshi Saikusa.jpg'Chair 2' Satoshi Saikusa.jpg'Big Sun 7' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01'Butterfly' Satoshi Saikusa, 2017_large'Pink Bag 2' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01e7d0a14ec13e1287d9db85780cc06bc9.jpgBig-Sun-5-Vogue-Italia-Satoshi-Saikusa-01-1.jpg'Red Shoe' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01

I wish I could add some of his great Adidas work to this batch of images.


Nb. Here are a few of Satoshi’s covers.'Cover - Sept 1989' Vogue Italia, Satoshi Saikusa-01
'Bazaar Beauty 2' Satoshi Saikusa'Elle Beaute - Cover' Satoshi Saikusa'Vogue' Satoshi Saikusa'Juliette Binoche, Vogue Cover, Satoshi SaikusaWindow Dressing' Satoshi SaikusaVogue, Satoshi Saikusa'Vogue Paris' Satoshi Saikusa'Skull Cover' Huge Mag- Satoshi Saikusa

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