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The artist Takahashi Ushio creates wonderful portraits of beautiful Japanese women. The women created by him look sensual, mysterious and very romantic. Bijin-ga, images of beautiful women was a popular subject in traditional Japanese prints. But the works by Takahashi Ushio are no traditional ukiyo-e. The artist uses the technique of mezzotint to make very realistic, refined images of great charm and fascination.
Takahashi Ushio was born in 1944 in Fukuoka, Japan. He graduated from the famous Musashino University of Fine Arts in Tokyo in 1970.
Takahashi Ushio works in mezzotint, an Intaglio Printmaking technique that was invented by a German, Ludwig van Siegen, around 1642. For a mezzotint print the surface of a plate is completely marked with a dense grid of lines. For this process, a tool called a rocker is used. In the next step, the plate is smoothed in the areas where the artist wants the color to print in a lighter tone or not at all.
The working process for mezzotint is difficult to handle as it goes from dark to light. It is an ideal technique for creating shadowed areas and different tonal qualities. It is therefore particularly used for fine portraits and thus ideal for Takahashi Ushio's realistic female portraits.
A number of well-known galleries represent the artist.
Mary & Norman Tolman, "Collecting Modern Japanese Prints Then and Now", published by the Charles E.Tuttle Company, Inc., 1994, ISBN 0-8048-1936-X.
Author: Dieter Wanczura
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