Julian Opie's gripping graphic portraiture style plus his usage of captivating computer-aided design has allowed him move smoothly between the fields of commercial design and contemporary art. In his canvases, on view at Mumbai’s Sakshi Gallery, there is no usage of a paintbrush, or the human touch, for that matter. His trademark style is characterized by his pristine forms created via techniques used for making advertising billboards and road signs. Here's a quick look at the artist's career:
- Julian Opie was born in London in 1958, and studied at Goldsmiths College of Art from 1979 - 1982. He lives and works in London. Opie's early works are narrative: irreverent, tongue-in-cheek sculptures based on famous works of art, of everyday objects such food, furniture and books, made from cut and painted steel. In 2000 the artist was commissioned for the cover design of an album for renowned British band Blur. He created an LED projection in 2006 for U2's Vertigo world tour.
- Later works, also made from steel but with an entirely different surface finish, suggested the cool precision of domestic appliances and 'white' goods. His work developed an architectural presence with sculptures made from metal or wood, which recall offices, houses and the architectural detailing of public spaces, combined with references to geometric abstract art and reduced to their most basic elements.
- Over the past decade he has consistently pursued painting with a strong graphic and pared down style. Drawing from influences as diverse as billboard signs, classical portraiture and sculpture, to classical Japanese woodblock prints, Opie 'paints' using a variety of media and technologies which enable him to make three-dimensional explorations of his subjects.
- An example of this is ‘Suzanne Walking’ (2005) which portrays one of Opie's most commonly featured muses. The use of a lenticular print gives the illusion of depth and movement, bringing Suzanne to life as the viewer walks around the work.
(Information courtesy: The British Council)