Julian Opie is a British sculptor and digital artist who is associated with the New British Sculpture movement. Born in Oxford in 1958, Opie studied at Goldsmith's School of Art from 1979 to 1983. Throughout his career, he has explored various mediums and techniques, ranging from steel sculptures to digital media.
In his early work, Opie created steel sculptures depicting everyday objects such as domestic appliances, architectural structures, and abstract geometric shapes. However, he gained significant recognition for his portraits that simplify subjects to essential lines and color planes. This distinctive style reduces the individuals depicted to their most basic forms while still including specific details to differentiate each work, such as an exotic flower in "Muliati, Shop Assistant" (2002).
Opie's artistic language draws inspiration from diverse sources, including classical portraiture, Japanese woodblock prints, and the aesthetics of Pop Art, particularly the works of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. He has embraced digital media in recent years, utilizing LED projections and graphic art to create his signature style. Opie has also ventured into continuous animations on LCD screens, such as "Christine Blinking" (1999) and "Suzanne Walking" (2002).
His artworks can be found in various public locations, adding to the accessibility and visibility of his work. One notable example is "Ann Dancing" (2007), a sculpture consisting of four LCD screens that was installed as part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Opie's work is also held in prestigious public collections, including the Tate Gallery in London, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Julian Opie continues to live and work in London, creating captivating and visually striking artworks that challenge traditional notions of portraiture and representation. His ability to distill subjects into their essential elements while maintaining a sense of individuality has established him as a prominent figure in contemporary art.