Julian Opie (1958)
Julian Opie is a British artist who was born in London in 1958. He graduated from the Goldsmith’s School of Art in London in 1982, quickly achieving such great success in the art world that he encouraged younger artists such as Damien Hirst to follow an identical path.
His formal influence stems without question from his elders [follower of Pop Art Patrick Caulfield (1936-2005) and conceptual artist Michael Craig-Martin (1941)]. Julian Opie created his own formal language through an original utilisation of technology: from scanned photographs of portraits or landscapes, he made an extreme reduction of details, emphasised the contours in thick black lines, and filled the forms with flat fields of colour. This style recalls Minimal Art, Pop Art, advertising art, as well as Japanese prints. The photographs are thus transformed into ‘images that resemble symbols and signs’, the scope of which becomes universal.
Opie adopts a wide variety of supports, media, and technologies, such as: ink jet on canvas or painted aluminium, vinyl painting on walls, sculptures with forms drawn from everyday life, small-scale buildings, life-sized cars, panels, or animated films. He applies his method of purification to the reproduction of paintings, telephone directories, books, and portraits, of which the simplified result astonishes by its resemblance to the original. His landscapes lacking all detail become the very essence of themselves, and his digital films of Japanese landscapes projected on a wall acquire a hypnotic power.
Julian Opie proposes a simplified reality and contributes to the democratisation of art, as seen by his projection of works upon buildings (such as a gigantic landscape covering part of Saint Bart’s Hospital in London), and visuals streamed on a giant screen, such as on stage during Irish rock band U2’s Vertigo World Tour.
Julian Opie is represented in numerous important museum collections including: the British Museum, London; the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
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Art works from Julian Opie
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