Hajime Sorayama

If futuristic femme fatales are your cup of tea, then better look for the works of the Japanese illustrator, Hajime Sorayama, whose works a regular fare in men's magazines. Some art critics believe that Sorayama belongs to the elite erotic artists of this new millennium as showcased by his style of playing with light on metallic renderings of sensuous android-like figures combining the female human form with robotic features.

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The strength in the artistic style of Hajime Sorayama draws itself from advertising wherein he first employed his talents as a comprehensive illustrator for the Tokyo ad agency Asahi Tsushi-sha. Born in Ehime prefecture, Japan, in 1947, Sorayama pursued his college studies at the Shikoku Gakuin University with Greek and later English as his majors, but it was in Chuo Art School where Hajime gained dexterity with the brush.

Searching for more outlets for the voluptuous female figures and cheesecake art that were de rigueur in ad campaigns, Hajime Sorayama was inspired to turn freelance in 1979. Painstakingly nurturing his ultra-futuristic style, Hajime produced his first book of illustrations aptly titled Sexy Robot in 1983. The book proved a monumental success in the market whose sophistication Sorayama uncannily recognized in his interpretation of erotic femininity melded with non-human technological elements to showcase a hitherto unexplored side of sexuality. On closer inspection, however, Hajime’s works follow the time-tested formula of the classic pinups, the exuberant celebration of the female anatomy through poses that are suggestive or downright illustrative of eroticism.

The Sexy Robot‘s success fired up other Hajime Sorayama publications such as Venus Odyssey, Hyper Illustrations, Pin-Up and The Gynoids. Science fiction is the peg of The Gynoids, the title employing a clever combination of the Greek words “gyn” (women) and “droid” (image). Through these illustrations, Sorayama emerged as master of a new form of erotica, a combination of man with machine to evoke vivid sexual messages.

Riding on the popularity of his books, Hajime Sorayama mounted his first one-man exhibit in Los Angeles in 1994. Penthouse took notice and began featuring Sorayama’s erotica art soon after. Outside of the pinup genre, Hajime won acclaim for his creation “AIBO” dog for Sony Entertainment, an icon that eventually lead to other commissions such as album design for the band Aerosmith’s Just Push Play, art design renditions for Playboy TV and SexTV Canada, as well as a Disney art production for the Future Mickey and His Friends.

The works of Hajime Sorayama thrive on fantasy and hyper realism, a style which the artist also terms as super realism. Sorayama’s is a technique refined to perfection, executed via pencil, brush and acrylic paint. For the final details an airbrush is employed to achieve an unparalleled level of realism in a subject that appears out of this world in ordinary imagination.

Where the strength of Hajime Sorayama precisely lies is in his ability to produce images that appear so real and yet so fantastic that they can only be residents to the most fertile of imagination. Such an anachronistic style brings to the fore unscaled heights in erotic art, comparable to the exploits of the other gurus of the genre like Vargas.

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