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Ben Kimura -- the master of brooding desire

(From the artist's Wikipedia entry:)

Kimura was born in 1947.[2] He began his career in gay erotic art in 1978 as illustrator and cover artist for Barazoku, the first commercially published gay magazine in Japan; he would be a regular contributor before departing the magazine in 1989.[3] He would contribute artwork to other gay magazines throughout his career, notably Sabu [ja], G-men, and SM-Z.[3] Kimura would also contribute artwork to the early yaoi magazines June and Allan, making him among the first gay artists to achieve crossover success with a female audience in yaoi publications.[2][4] He was a co-founding member of Studio Kaiz, along with Naoki Tatsuya and his partner Kihira Kai.[2][5]

Kimura's artwork was ubiquitous in gay publications in Japan in the 1970s and 1980s, with Gengoroh Tagame describing Kimura as the "face" of gay magazines in Japan.[1][2] His works typically depict handsome, masculine men rendered in a homoerotic style that is frequently romantic and sensual, rather than explicitly pornographic.[6] Artist Kazuhide Ichikawa has described Kimura's illustrations as "soft" and "nostalgic",[7] while Tagame describes his art as featuring "sporty young men who look familiar, and not beautiful men who appear disconnected from reality."[1]

On February 18, 2003, Kimura died at the age of 56 from a pulmonary embolism.[3] A tribute edition of Tan Pan Body, a collection of his works self-published in 1997, was published shortly after his death.[2] His collected works are held by Studio Kaiz.[3]




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