Paul Binnie Backbend

Paul Binnie “Backbend” artwork
Artist
Paul Binnie
Title
Backbend
Japanese title
Ebizori えび反 [えびぞり]
Series title
Large-head portraits of Kabuki
Japanese series title
Kabuki ōkubi-e 歌舞伎大首絵
Date
Medium
Colour woodblock print on paper
Paper dimensions (h × w)
67 × 48 cm
Image dimensions (h × w)
61 × 43 cm
Edition size
50
Artist's proofs
4 known
Carver
Paul Binnie
Printer
Paul Binnie
Subjects
Kabuki actors (Yakusha-e 役者絵)
Remarks
Bandō Tamasaburō V
Date seal reads Heisei kyunen - 1997
"Here is one of the woodblock prints, to my knowledge the only upside-down portrait of a Kabuki actor in history. The great actor Bandō Tamasaburo was one of the most beautiful and accomplished female-rôle actors in the 1990s, and I made several prints and paintings of him in the nearly six years I lived in Tokyo. This moment is a very famous pose when the actor does a ‘prawn bend’ (ebi zori) curling backwards like a cooked prawn, and Tamasaburo was young and supple enough that the hair of his wig lay upon the stage!" Binnie, June 10, 2022.
References
Van den Ing, E (ed.) , Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past, Art Media Resources, Chicago, p. 93
Catalogue number
52 (L133)
Supplementary images