Paul Binnie, Beauty Portrait, Contact Lens of 1970, Contemporary Art

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Original Japanese woodblock print. 

Artist: Paul Binnie (1967 – )
Title: Contact Lens of 1970
Series: Flowers of a Thousand Years (Hyakunen no hana)
Published: by the artist
Date: 2017
Edition: 37/100
Dimensions: 47.5 x 33.5 cm


A young woman prepares to put on a contact lens, carefully placing it on her right forefinger, and holding a small mirror in her left hand. Her hair is stylishly mid-length and curled under, and instead of a kimono, she is wearing an extremely fashionable kaftan decorated with bright flowers. This vibrant robe is set against a more subtle background of green-blue which shades irregularly from dark above to light below.


Contact lenses were first suggested theoretically by Leonardo da Vinci, but were actually invented in the later 19th century, though of glass. Plastics were introduced in the 1930s, which allowed hard contact lenses to be lighter and less intrusive than glass, although it wasn’t until 1959 that soft contact lenses were developed, which revolutionised their comfort and wearability and lead to widespread use by around 1970, including Japan.


Series and print title embossed on the top left-hand side. Edition number and artist signature in original pencil. ‘Binnie’ embossed on the bottom margin.

More Information
Artist Name Paul Binnie
Title Contact Lens of 1970
Subject Beauty & Female, Contemporary
Condition Report Excellent.
Dimensions 47.5 x 33.5 cm
Series Flowers of a Hundred Years