alphonse inoue

alphonse inoue


“Amazing ex-libris art of Alphonse Inoue, an enigmatic Japanese artist. Little is known about him, but his beautiful yet disturbing ex-libris work speaks for itself …” ~ Cultura Inquieta


ex libris shimamura

ex libris uchida

アルフォンス イノウエ

I am in love with Alphonse Inoue’s work!

I stumbled across one of his ex-libris and have since found quite a collection of his work online. I have also found that it is true – it is difficult to find information about Alphonse Inoue. From what I understand, even the name of the artist  is considered to be a pseudonym.

Ex Libris is a Latin phrase, meaning literally, “from the books.” Ex Libris are also called “bookplates.” They are usually a small printed label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner. Through history, bookplates have displayed a motif or design. The name of the owner usually follows an inscription such as “from the books of…” or “from the library of…”, or in Latin, Ex Libris

Nearly all of the work that I have found by Inoue features books with specific names. At first I thought that these names might relate to specific authors. I searched some of the names and could find nothing, but if these are Japanese authors, it is very possible that I wouldn’t know them or they wouldn’t come up in a google search. Considering the history of ex libris, some of these works may also be the bookplates of individuals.

In any case, each piece of art is inexorably linked to literature. Everything about Inoue’s work resonates with my own work in a way that is kind of eerie and also kind of fascinating. In his vivid images, I see a mirrored dreamscape of art, fantasy, sexuality, books, eroticism, literature and poetry, mythology, fetish, darkness, transformation, romanticism, sex, and death.

To view more work from Alphonse Inoue, check out the gallery through Cultura Inquieta  or search for him in Google Images. If you search for Alphonse Inoue in Japanese アルフォンス イノウエ, there is more information to be found! A book entitled “Belles Filles” was published in 2003:

I’ve found this book available through Japanese online booksellers Rakuten Books, Amazon (Japan), and Natsume-Books.

He has exhibited work through Yart Gallery (click the link to view the exhibition) and Span Art Gallery, which gives a rather detailed bio of the artist (translated from the Japanese):


Alphonse Inoue Alfons Inoue

With a man of atelier, Alphonse Inoue said, a man of study. Besides that is implanted in the production of copper engraving professional, and distribute an eye on the picture album that our predecessors have left each time it is folded, the bursting literary book of all ages, do not neglect the training and study always.
Abbreviation … …
World of Alphonse Inoue is equipped dyed elegant eroticism, the flavor of literati painting of the twentieth century. It is a possible for the first time Zen standing on the personality of the artist, such as age investigation that arrived went dignity literary material that pick up Mr. prefer, like study people drifting across the screen, the details of female clothes, and deep accumulation.
“Black Museum of Literature” (Chuko Bunko) from Ikuta cultivation

1941 Kobe birth
1959 Musashino Art School (now Musashinobidai) graduate
1992 “Alphonse Inoue bookplate Works” published
1995 Eros Thanatos Exhibition
Preface to 2001 copper engraving bookplate Exhibition ─ fourth All Japan bookplate Festa held in Kobe ─
In addition, many world manual vote writer Exhibition solo exhibition original edition art book “Six Collection Form votes writer” (Milan, Sapporo, Taiwan, Prague, China, etc.) exhibit “Feast” and “dream seat” exhibition





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