Tadayuki Naitoh, after graduating in photography by the Tokyo Designer Gakuin College in1964, he moved by himself to New York and started shooting jazz musicians’ portraits. After meeting Miles Davis, he polished his style and become interested in the vigorous African roots of the Jazz. From the mid 80’s he turned his gaze into the Japanese culture and created series such as “Sakura”, “Garden”, “Lotus” reflecting Nitoh’s creative world. In the last years, he has been producing artwork based on themes such as skulls or clouds.
In 2005, he was selected between the 12 participants of “Modern masters of photography / Japan”, a project for a swaminathan foundation, and his work is now part of the collection of museums such as the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, the Kawasaki City Museum and the Annaka Contemporary Museum.
In Naitoh’s production, there is a special emphasis in the concept of “tone”. In his own words: “Tone is a musical concept that can be also applied to photography. I think that the elements used in the music notation are equivalent to the proper use of exposure in photography. While some musicians and photographers would apply it, others would develop it further.” Naitoh’s “proper use of exposure” results in a brightness that, in many cases, may differ from the reality, because he applies the tone suitable for each subject. Since he had good instincts at sound visualization, intuitively chose photography and made jazz his first theme as a photographer. Nowadays, his photographs express two parallel dimensions: the real and the poetic.
In this exhibition, we present photographs from his early Jazzmen portraits, Africa, zebra, Miles Davis, etc. These artworks decorate the walls of the artist’s own living room recreating its configuration. As if we could glimpse inside Naitoh’s head and realize that following the path he has been going through until now was his only option. In this occasion, we can clearly feel Naitoh’s own “tone”.
The exhibition’s title “W3” is a reference to Miles Davis’ “W6” (polyhedron, dodecahedron), and expresses Naitoh’s inner conflict of wanting to get close to his genius, even only half of it.