Krista Mezzadri explores the potential of monotype printmaking on diaphanous Japanese paper, which she layers on top of one another to create a buildup of interlocking patterns and tone. Her autodidactic method grew from a desire for greater control, having moved from working in watercolours to printmaking. The process is the result of careful experimentation, where the image is transferred to the underside of the paper, allowing Mezzadri to produce gestural marks by pressing with tools on the top of the paper.
A day in her studio may entail a constant stream of printing with carbon black ink before hanging the sheets of Japanese tengujo paper in her studio to dry. After days of mark making, the sheets are then combined in groups of two or three and fixed to wooden boards with rice paste to form the final composition. “Sometimes I know immediately which sheets are going together. Other times, it is a process of experimentation,” she says. “It’s an exciting way of making art. Instead of slowly adding paint to a canvas and watching it grow gradually, the composition comes together immediately.”
Mezzadri works in her studio near her home in Buffalo, NY, and recently completed a residency at Mirabo Press to explore etching and other techniques. She has exhibited her work across New York state, in London with Warbling Collective in 2021 and 2022, and at Maud & Mabel Gallery in 2023. Her work is both ethereal – thin, translucent paper and light, ghostly images – and bold, where black triangular patterns form regular rhythms. “I like to engage with physical opposites in my work: light and darkness, geometry and irregularity, paper and wood,” she says. “I’m interested in where these contrasts meet. I try to remove the process of judging things as either beautiful or ugly and allow the work to just be.”