Julian Opie (born 1958) is a leading contemporary English artist, who uses computerised imagery. He is a former trustee of the Tate Gallery.
Julian Opie was born in London and raised in Oxford. After the Dragon School, Oxford, he spent some time at Magdalen College School, Oxford. He is a graduate of Goldsmiths College (1979–82) and achieved some early gallery success, which was an incentive for slightly younger artists in the same college, such as Damien Hirst to do likewise.
His work, derived in part from Patrick Caulfield and Michael Craig-Martin, involves the reduction of photographs (or short films) into figurative reproductions (created using computer software). In his portraiture, the human face is characterised by black outlines with flat areas of colour, and minimalised detail, to the extent that an eye can become just the black circle of the pupil, and sometimes a head is represented by a circle with a space where the neck would be. Opie uses computers in art for other works. His Imagine you are... series, demonstrated how activities such as driving, walking and climbing could be represented by simple reductions. In addition, Opie uses sculpture and light installations to present items of everyday life.
I am simply using that which is available to describe that which is experienced. ”
Julian Opie's style was brought into the public eye when he was asked to design the cover for the British band, Blur's best of album. On the cover, the band members (clockwise from top left) Graham Coxon, Alex James, Dave Rowntree and Damon Albarn are transformed into Opie's style. Also, in 2005 and during Irish rock band ,U2, Vertigo world tour, he showed another LED screen on part of stage set displaying an aimless walking man figure.
Julian Opie also implements computer technology by cutting out the outlines and coloured shapes, sometimes on vinyl, as in large display banners at Tate Britain. Opie is a former trustee of the Tate Gallery and exhibits with Lisson Gallery and Alan Cristea Gallery in London. His studio and workshop is based in Shoreditch, London. He was the subject of a film by Illuminations in their the EYE series, in which they profile contemporary visual artists in Britain. He was also the subject of a book by Mary Horlock published by Tate Publishing as part of their Modern Artist series.
Recently, Julian Opie has depicted pole dancers, a key part of his exhibition at the Alan Cristea Gallery. He reduces them to cartoon-esque figures.
Biographical information from Wikipedia
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By Coline Milliard,ARTINFO UK | July 23, 2012
LONDON — Over the last thirty years, Julian Opie has developed a striking visual language, reducing his subjects to a few, highly evocative shapes. In Opie's hands, figures become almost...
By Coline Milliard,ARTINFO UK | July 6, 2012
Over the last thirty years, Julian Opie has developed a striking visual language, reducing his subjects to a few, highly evocative shapes. In Opie's hands, figures become almost logo-like, at...