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Laurent Schkolnyk, was born in 1953 in Paris, France. He studied drawing and etching at the Beaux Arts School, Nantes, France, where he still resides. It is here that he learned the theory of mezzotint. Later he apprenticed with the renowned mezzotint artist Yozo Hamaguchi. The artist says "From the start, I have been fascinated by the technical vernacular of mezzotint..."
Mezzotint, a technique born in 17th Century Holland when printmaking had reached a high point in widespread use and quality. Mezzotint requires that the copper plate be pitted with an instrument called a rocker. The preparation on a 5" x 6" plate takes about 10 hours of diligent labor. Once the entire surface has been "rocked" the image is then created by burnishing or smoothing out parts of the pitted surface. Using three plates one for each of the primary colors the ink is transferred to paper and the result is a dark, rich, velvety image. The essence of the mezzotint is mystery created by delicately graduated color tones rather than lines.
Laurent Schkolnyk is one of very few artist who have mastered this demanding technique. Schkolnyk uses the still life format to unleash small worlds which whirl inside a teacup or slip out of the curves of a vase. These objects issue light into their surroundings and seem linked to the space around them.
Laurent Schkolnyk has enjoyed many one-man shows in France, Japan and the United States. His mezzotints are in the National Library of Paris: Cabinet Des Estampes, Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Fine Art Museum of San Francisco: Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts.