Aiko Robinson: The Gentle Strokes of Passion

With thick peachy penises and erect pink nipples, the intimate works of Aiko Robinson leave us longing.

Words: Lucinda Bennett

Photography: Aaron Claringbold

The first Aiko Robinson pieces I saw were a series of lithographs she made as the inaugural artist in residence at Auckland Print Studio back in 2015. Writhing headless bodies swathed in boundless ribbons of rumpled rose, indigo and lilac grey fabric, the colours of hidden flesh; blushing hands, knees, breasts and feet spilling from twisted bedsheets, toes flexed in ecstasy. Thick peachy penises penetrating, drapes of cloth pooling like ripples in a lake, tangled with sweat and pleasure, soft puffs of pubic hair above the intricate folds of a flushed pink vulva. With their sinuous, inky black lines, I remember thinking they could be intricate tattoo designs, alongside their more obvious references to Japanese ukiyo-e art, in particular shunga, a form of erotic art prevalent throughout the Edo period (1603-1868). In later works – such as those to be shown at Gow Langsford Gallery in Tāmaki Makaurau later this year – tattoos adorn the chests, biceps and thighs of Robinson’s rapturous figures, traditional Japanese patterns (wagara) moving beyond the fabric, skin becoming another surface ripe for patterning.

Robinson is a rare artist…



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