In 1965, a young artist nicknamed Simon (because of his love for jazz, especially Nina Simone) learned about surrealism and avant-garde theater, which would influence him for the rest of his life. Soon after, he became a member of Jokyo Gekijo (Situation Theatre), which was considered one of the most progressive art movements in Japan at that time. Simultaneously, fascinated by Bellmer, Simon began to create his own ball-jointed dolls.
His most famous works – the Narcissisme and Pygmalionisme series – appear to be studies on the ambiguities of the human body. The life-like, waifish, pale bodies, surgically opened and exposed to the spectator’s eye, bear a mark of complete sadness, leaving the observer with a feeling of acute unease. One might raise the subject of ambivalent eroticism here: it’s remarkable that one of Yotsuya’s past exhibitions was named Dolls of Innocence.