aquatint photogravure print, plate by Paul Taylor
Other examples exhibited:
Tokyo, Zeit Foto Gallery, Ombres, 1998, illustrated
New York, Felissimo Art Space
Chicago, Lallak and Tom Gallery, Ombres, 1997-1998
Berlin, Gallery am Meer, 2003
Nana Watanabe is well recognized as one of Japan’s leading photographers, and her work is widely disseminated within the publishing, music, and fashion industries. Also the author of a best-selling book (Changemakers), Watanabe’s socially engaged commitment to the world is well expressed in her photographic images, which reflect what she views as the true photographer’s task, to discover and excavate that to which others are blind.
Ombres (Shadows) is one of nineteen photogravures with aquatint on pastel paper that focus upon the female nude. The delicacy of the subject matter is expressed through subtle tonal variations of this painterly medium, which merges the reality of photography with the fantasy of etching, to emphasize the shadows cast by the body’s topography. Watanabe’s work evokes the vulnerability and fear that lies beneath the surface of beauty, exposing layers of conflict in surface textures that enchant the viewer.
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