a much-anticipated reunion
more than 40 years after their first collaboration, ‘heavy metal magazine’ reunites with japanese artist hajime sorayama who has contributed artwork for three new covers of the latest #312 issue. the three covers showcase sci-fi inspired robots in sensual poses, and are available for purchase since december 8, 2021, both in stores and online. the feature also includes a gallery of the full, uncensored artwork by sorayama, alongside a profile written by heavy metal entertainment’s publisher and chief creative overlord david erwin.
best known for his precisely detailed sexy robot artwork, sorayama previously illustrated the iconic front cover of heavy metal magazine’s november 1980 issue, presenting a female android draped in a red sheet, as well as the back cover for the august 1981 issue. ‘it’s been a long time since we worked together, the last time was in the 80s, but I’m glad we both survived. I’m immortal. keep doing your best, heavy metal magazine!’ the japanese artist shares. you can find more on sorayama’s take on technology, dystopia, beauty, and humanity today, in our extensive interview, here.
hajime sorayama on the cover of heavy metal, november 1980
all images courtesy of heavy metal magazine
about hajime sorayama
hajime sorayama is an internationally acclaimed artist, whose extensive oevre focuses on an endless pursuit for beauty regarding the human body and the machine. his success is inseparably linked to his signature series ‘sexy robot’, which he started in 1978, featuring android figures clad in shiny metal and placed in risqué poses. ‘I have a metal fetish, and I feel erotic and sexy for metal. that’s why it’s natural to use metal to express something erotic in yourself. for example, the silver train on the subway — seen from the front, it feels like it’s turning. that’s erotic, isn’t it? there is such a fetish.’ the artist explains.
‘we’re thrilled to be bringing back this legendary artist to heavy metal magazine. it’s a bridge between classic heavy metal and the modern-day magazine, with a contemporary twist,’ mentions heavy metal entertainment CEO matthew medney. designbook spoke with hajime sorayama to learn more about his latest collaboration with the famed magazine, as well as his creative approach. read our latest interview in full below.
hajime sorayama’s first cover for heavy metal magazine issue #312, december 2021
designboom (DB): is there a storyline behind the three sexy robot covers and the artwork featured within the magazine?
hajime sorayama (HS): this is an extension of the greek mythological pygmalion legend. pygmalion, a king of cyprus, fell in love with the sculpture of a woman he made. he prayed to the goddess aphrodite to give life to the sculpture. this artwork was created with the concept of bringing life to the robots. also, to put it bluntly, I believe an urban myth that any sexually explicit depictions will pass censorship if they are depicted through robots. that’s it (laughs).
hajime sorayama’s second cover for heavy metal magazine issue #312, december 2021
DB: the first time you contributed artwork for heavy metal magazine was back in the 80s. has anything changed in the way you develop your work since then?
HS: métal hurlant was the first to announce the ‘sexy robots’ series, so heavy metal magazine [the american version of métal hurlant] and the ‘sexy robots’ series have a deep connection. I was the first to make the heavy metal logo shine like metal. heavy metal magazine at the time was, and still is, a very influential magazine with a cutting edge. I think I influenced the star wars logo.
in terms of how my work has changed, my skill as a craftsman has improved, so now my artwork shines more so than in the past. it’s dazzling (laughs). it incorporates technologies and know-how such as printing, cameras, and CG. for example, I have the technical wisdom to effectively use the technique that people recognize as a symbol of light, such as adding the lens flare effect of the camera to make it dazzle.
hajime sorayama’s third cover for heavy metal magazine issue #312, december 2021
DB: your female robot illustrations are characterized by a softness and flexibility that seems contrasting to the inherent qualities of solid metal. what is it about this material that you find erotic and sexy?
HS: similar to how the concept of a novel can be conveyed even if the language is changed, if it is a sculpture, it takes creativity to express softness and feminine warmth when making a female image, regardless of the material, whether it is marble or bronze. to give one example, look at the sculpture ‘the veiled virgin’ by giovanni strazza. the marble veil he made looks transparent. this style of artwork is a kind of magic and fantasy.
hajime sorayama portrait
myrto katsikopoulou I designboom
dec 09, 2021