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On July 11 in New York City, Sarai Mari will celebrate the launch of her new photo book, Delusion, with a solo photo exhibition operated by WallPlay. The book is the third for Sarai after her previous two publications, Naked and Speak Easy, were released in 2009 and 2016 respectively. In a first for the multifaceted photographer, Delusion offers less of a message for others and more of a conscious introspection for Sarai herself. Throughout the book, she quietly considers the nostalgia, delusion, daydreams, and persecution complex that have come to influence her experience as an artist. 

With her first book, Naked devoted to the encouragement of women’s power and her second book Speak Easy, a celebration of all notions of gender and sexuality, Sarai’s Delusion is “all about my life with a persecution complex which is a disease and got inside of me all the time.’’ This irrational and obsessive feeling of hostility from others encouraged her to “make my own private book. Not for sending a message to anyone else.” Using these feelings as inspiration for the premise of her new book, Sarai was able to focus on a piece of herself and reflect that “I am working in progress and growing in mind each book.’’

For her third publication, Sarai has collaborated with esteemed art director Fabien Baron, who has been a hero of the artist “since the ‘90s Madonna’s Sex book with Steven Meisel.’’ Their paths first crossed when Sarai “had been shooting for Interview magazine for nearly five years before the magazine changed the whole team. Fabien was an art director there. It was an honour for all the creators to work for the magazine because of Fabien Baron and Karl Templer. I was one of them.’’

When she started planning the making of her book, Sarai’s husband, Tomo Jidai, personally introduced both Sarai and Fabien in Tokyo. “My husband is a hair stylist and works with Fabien for Interview magazine and tons of big campaigns together. We spent all day in Tokyo. Especially when we visited my favourite vintage art book stores in Tokyo. We talked about artists and photography. He even bought me a book of Joel Meyerowitz!”

As apart of the book release, the solo photo exhibition in New York will feature six pages of work from the book. Wanting to try a different approach to the exhibition in contrast to the exhibition for her second book, Sarai hints that “there will be big-sized prints and banners. It’s not gonna be a proper photo exhibition this time. The Delusion show will be more casual to enter my world.’’ A world that Sarai wants to transport the audience into an intimate part of her mind.
The launch of the photo book and opening of the exhibition Delusion by Sarai Mari will take place on July 11 at OnCanal 312 Canal Street, New York City. The exhibition will be on view until July 18.

Tyler Lea

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