Forbidden Colours


Wilhelm von Gloeden‘s version of the Flandrin pose as it appears on the cover of a 1989 Gallimard edition of Forbidden Colours by Yukio Mishima. I included this photograph in the very first posting which examines the recurrence of Flandrin’s Jeune Homme Assis au Bord de la Mer but this is the first time I’ve seen it used on a book cover. The French twist the title into “forbidden loves” and in so doing lose Mishima’s punning subtlety.


The Ballad To a Severed Little Finger (1966).

Searching around earlier turned up a nice collection of poster works by the great Japanese collage artist, Tadanori Yokoo. One of these from 1966 is dedicated to Mishima, while the one above shows actor Ken Takakura in one of his many yakuza roles. Yokoo regarded Mishima as a major influence and further cemented the relationship by making an appearance in Paul Schrader’s 1985 film, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters. By convoluted coincidence, Schrader received his start in Hollywood ten years earlier with a co-written screenplay, The Yakuza, which Sidney Pollack directed. Ken Takakura reprised his gangster persona in that film, along with Robert Mitchum. It’s a good piece of neo-noir, worth seeking out.

For more Tadanori Yokoo, see some of the recent posts by Will at A Journey Round My Skull.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The recurrent pose archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Goh Mishima, 1924–1989
The art of Hideki Koh
Mishima’s Rite of Love and Death
Secret Lives of the Samurai
Guido Reni’s Saint Sebastian
The art of Sadao Hasegawa, 1945–1999
The art of Takato Yamamoto

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