Mezzotint artist Mikio Watanabe was born in 1954 in Japan and currently lives in France. He is most known for his elegant, evocative black and white nudes. In these images the artist alternates between full figures and the sensuous ambiguity of closer cropped body parts. The female figure emerges out of the rich, velvety black shadows. Watanabe skillfully manipulates the subtle gradations of gray that are available in a mezzotint with careful burnishing and scraping of the plate. More recently Watanabe has added flora and fauna subjects, using multiple plates for the color. These new works have the same quality of grace and delicacy found in his nudes, but are playful in spirit. His works are part of the permanent collections of the Bibliotheque National in Paris, the Central Academy of Art in Kuala Lumpur and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
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