Initially a figurative artist, Frederick Mershimer became infatuated with the vibrant energy of New York City after he moved from Pittsburgh. Mershimer's cityscapes are inspired by his Brooklyn home. His works now reflect many aspects of modern life, from crowded train stations, sweeping viewpoints of the Manhattan skylines, or quiet brownstone lined streets in his neighborhood. With the mezzotint process he evokes the subtle shadows of the evening or of a recent snow and also the differing textures of concrete and brownstone.
His detailed, technical cityscapes reflect the labor intensive mezzotint process, with impossibly small architectural details of New York skyscrapers. Mershimer uses the intensive chiaroscuro of mezzotint to highlight the contrast between the bright city lights of towering buildings and the rich darkness of the surrounding sky and streets below. Mershimer is an important contributor to the revival and growing popularity of a 400 year old process once abandoned as too labor intensive.