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                                                                                                                                                                       WATANABE Mikio                                                            

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WATANABE Mikio


WATANABE Mikio

Born: 1954, in Yokohama Japan
Medium: Mezzotint

Mikio Watanabe studied printmaking at the Ecole des Beaux Artes in Tokyo and then did further studies in engraving techniques at the famous printmaking studio Atelier 17 in Paris. He has resided in France ever since -- over thirty years. The artist makes his home in Brittany with his family, and since 2001 has had a studio in Paris.

A primary theme in Mikio Watanabe's printmaking has been the nude female figure. These have almost always been done with black ink only. The painstaking process requires spending many hours passing a toothed rocker tool over the entire surface of a copper plate. If inked and printed at this stage the result would be a solid, velvety black. The image is created by scraping or burnishing away some of the pits so they will not hold ink. Thus mezzotints are usually marked by a light image on a dark background. It is a very time-consuming and tedious process that only a few artists have mastered.But the result is unique in printmaking.

For Mikio, the sensual and alluring female figures are shown in subtle light and strong shadow. This allows the viewer to appreciate the graceful forms and fluid movements of the figure. The body seems to blend with the shadow and may even become abstracted and more mysterious.

More recently Mr. Watanabe has been creating images from the natural world, including birds, frogs, plants and butterflies. These are generally done with colored ink, and often with chine collé. The animals sometimes seem more whimsical than the graceful human forms. But every image reveals the artist's deep appreciation for the inherent beauty.

Mikio Watanabe has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout France, Japan, and the US. His first exhibit in our gallery is October, 2009.

Collections:
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
Central Academy of Art, Kuala Lumpur
New Orleans Museum of Art

Exhibitions:
Salon de la Gravure Originale, Bayeux, France
Miniprint Internatonale, Cadaques, Spain-award winner
Multiple Impressions, New York City
Mission Gallery, San Juan Bautista, CA
Gallery Shimada, Kobe, Japan
Michelle Broutta Gallery, Paris
The Ren Brown Collection, Bodega Bay, CA

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