Together with fellow Ukrainian artist Sergey Kirnitskiy, whose work you can see here, David Bekker was the leading exponent of modern erotic ex libris or bookplate design, his work being commissioned by clients from all over the world, and his limited edition engravings being much sought after at international specialist exhibitions.

Bekker grew up in Odesa on the Black Sea coast, and studied art first at Odesa Art College and then at the Art Institute in Kharkiv, where he specialised in etching, drypoint, aquatint and mezzotint. He spent all his working life in Odesa, where he maintained his studio, though in later years he travelled extensively to attend ex libris exhibitions and events.

As Julia Romanenkova and her Ukrainian co-authors wrote in a recent article, The Importance of the Ex-Libris in Maintaining Intaglio Printing Techniques in Ukrainian Graphic Arts at the Turn of the 20th and 21st Centuries, ‘The Odessa cultural centre in the field of ex-libris is represented primarily by the creative work of David Bekker, who can justly be called one of the most significant of Ukraine’s ex-librists.’

We would like to thank our Russian friend and contributor Yuri for introducing us to the work of this artist and supplying many of the images.



Example illustration