• FOX/JENSEN/McCRORY and FOX/JENSEN are thrilled to announce that Aiko Robinson will be represented by the galleries in Sydney and Auckland.

The forsaking of decorum and the confusing of force with certainty is steadily undermining a respectful approach to debate and to truth. Together with the epidemic collapse of cultural sensitivity and the erosion of civility in current political and social discourse, such endlessly artless, even cruel rhetoric must surely erode our ability to be shocked.

Of course, gratuitous behaviour and theatre has long been part and parcel of both the music and the art world - encouraged, even lionized by the bourgeois appetite for “naughty” radicality. What could be both more titillating and deliciously offensive than scenes or evidence of fucking? From Jim Morrison’s lyrics about, and Tracey Emin’s presentation of ‘stained wretched’ sheets - to Takashi Murikami’s ejaculating manga, to the porn industry’s “money shot”, the art audience too is fluffed and ready as the “intimate” is increasingly invited, sweaty and panting into the gallery space.

Aiko Robinson’s devotion to images of faceless coital engagement however, seems to share absolutely nothing with this urge. Rather Robinson’s work is truly radical, not because of its skilful and shrewd homage to the sexually explicit images of Shunga, so celebrated in Shinto culture, but because she chooses to make these images using the graphic techniques and vocabulary of the original Utamakura masters. It is because she is a young Japanese/New Zealand woman whose works maintain respect for the past whilst mindfully and skilfully contemporising the precedents…and because she can really draw. Robinson positions herself as part of the deeply embedded history of eroticism in art that is woven into a broad cognisance across most cultures of the centrality and essence of sexuality.

The scrutiny of history and aesthetics through the drawing that underpins Robinson’s abilities, sets her work well aside from a generation or more that largely won’t (or can’t). Her drawings and etchings are exquisitely made, not because she fetishises technique but because she understands that making matters, and once that ability is assured then one is free to interpret, to develop and innovate.

Having said all of this I’m not now going to pretend that I look at Aiko’s works through some puritanical “pince-nez” that only lets you read its virtuosity and ingenuity and ignore its more fervid attributes. These works rely on our deeper inclinations to voyeurism and the recognition that there is a fundamental truthfulness, a confronting candour to them that augments the fantasy options available in a Utopian “floating world”.

Robinson’s first new works will be presented in the major upcoming project “Eros” in Sydney and Auckland and will be on show at Auckland Art Fair. Solo exhibitions will follow in due course.