Mikio Watanabe – Mezzotint Nudes – August 2001
Mikio Watanabe is one of of the pre-eminent mezzotint artists in the world today. When most people first see his work, they immediately assume these are photographs. They are not.
Watanabe creates a mezzotint by making thousands of tiny “divots” in a copper plate using a sort of rounded chisel with a serrated edge called a rocker. He then inks the plate and presses it down on to the paper to create an image. It’s an incredibly time consuming process which is one of the reasons it has become somewhat of a lost art.
Watanabe sometimes spends one hundred or more hours on a single plate, and usually does edition sizes of approximately 75 prints. The results are amazing, with soft, silk-like images that have an astonishing level of detail. These digital images don’t do the pieces justice because they look grainy compared to the original prints. They also can’t duplicate the delicate nature of the process itself.
Most of these pieces are quite small, with image sizes rarely larger than 12×16. If you enjoy nudes or quality handmade prints, these pieces are a must. We have several other pieces in the gallery that are not included here.
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