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When Erotic Photographer’s Muse Becomes His Critic

By 2015, the relationship had soured so badly that Mr. Araki insisted she sign a document vowing not to defame him or his business. In 2016, Kaori, who by then was running her own ballet school, stopped working with him.

When she requested that he stop republishing or exhibiting some photographs of her, he warned in a March 2017 letter that she had no rights. “All models should understand the potential for unlimited use of the work,” he wrote in the letter, seen by The New York Times. “I will decide which publication, which exhibition, when to publish and what kind of products I will give permission to use my work. It’s all up to me.”

Kaori is not the only model to have objected to Mr. Araki’s distribution of photos. In an interview, Akane Ikeda, 38, a geisha in Kanazawa who occasionally modeled for him between 2003 and 2013, said that when friends discovered nude photos of her online that she had not known about, she asked Mr. Araki to take them down. “I don’t understand the internet,” he told her.

Ms. Ikeda said a gallery that represents Mr. Araki, Taka Ishii in Tokyo, eventually removed the images from various websites.

As for Kaori, she had started to move on with the support of a new partner. But when #MeToo began and the Museum of Sex mounted its Araki retrospective, they inspired her to go public.

Many of the comments on her blog offered encouragement and called her courageous. “It must have been a horrible experience,” one commentator wrote.

Kaori said she did not expect an apology from Mr. Araki, and she is not asking the Museum of Sex to remove the three photos of her it is displaying.

The work, she said, should serve as a reminder. All she wants, she said, is for visitors to “know my sad background and experience.”

Source: NYT > World

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