Photographer Nobuyoshi Araki—who usually goes by his last name only—is one of Japan’s most prolific contemporary artists, and though his work has often hovered between erotic and pornographic, his career has been celebrated at home and abroad. Young nubile Japanese women, in provocative full-frontal poses that sometimes include bondage, are a frequent subject, but there’s no doubting the artistry and refined eye behind Araki’s photographs. His current show at Chelsea’s Anton Kern Gallery (up through August 7) is titled “Eros Diary,” but it’s actually a bit lighter on the explicit. Instead, it offers a metaphorical and meditative take, examining eroticism within the context of life and death—a view that makes perfect sense, given that Araki, now 75, has spent the past year battling prostrate cancer. The photos, which include still lifes and other scenes, are gorgeous, as usual; they’re a reminder that whatever else it represents, sex is a regenerative act.