Super. Simple

Super. Simple
We love to talk about contemporary art. In this issue, we will discuss the work of the British artist Julian Opie.

English artist and sculptor, Julian Opie, a bright representative of modern pop art, sculptor behind the Bryan Adams monument, was born in London in 1958. Julian was sent by his parents to an art college hoping that his work would be supported by an English painting fund. After studying traditional art at the School of Arts of Goldsmith University, Opie explored new ideas vigorously, and eventually chose laconic formulations of pop art.


Opie captured the leitmotifs of mass culture; and he was able to captivate the simplicity and clarity of form inspired by modern objects such as billboards and magna comics. The artists insists, however, that he did not depart from traditions too much, due to his fascination with the ancient technology of Japanese woodcut. Quite quickly, Opie became a notable figure on the British art scene- he proved himself in the 1980s when he presented a series of wireframe metal sculptures in which he combined humor with painted images with steel elements. Since then, Opie remains a relevant artist by using a rich set of modern technologies, including stencil and digital printing, vinyl, LEDs and lenses. One of his most memorable exhibitions, "Walking on O'Connell Street," debuted 2008 on a street in Dublin. The exhibition was composed of a group of five animated installations along O'Connell Street: large-scale black panels with LED human figures “walking” toward Parnell Square.


When Opie was asked to characterize his art and talk about his creative method, the artist replied that his main incentive is the desire to create something realistic and tangible, a work that exists harmoniously in the internal space in which it is placed. The unity in the case of Opie always implies two planes: conceptual and aesthetic. In this sense, his portraits, executed in the style of graphic minimalism which brought Julian great popularity, are quite typical. The black outline of a picture, the color fill of the background, the exceptional laconicism and the almost complete lack of details are the main features of his corporate identity. In the center of attention of this works is always a person, the line and color. The characters of his works are very similar, but it is through this that they are globally recognized. Now Julian Opie is exhibited in major museums and exhibition halls throughout Great Britain and Europe.


In Asia, Julian Opie gained prominence after 2009 when the famous Kukje Gallery began selling his work. The record price for his work in Asia was set at an auction in 2011 and exceeded $130,000. Other works of his, such as “Ruth, walking in jeans” (Asia, 2008) sold for $70,000, and “Dancing Ann 1” (London)  for $34,800.


Opie’s work is housed in the most respectable galleries around the world, including Lisson Gallery and Alan Cristea Gallery (London), Barbara Krakow Gallery (Boston), Bob van Orsouw (Zurich), Gerhardsen Gerner (Oslo), Mario Sequeira (Portugal), Patrick de Brock (Brussels), Krobath (Vienna), Kukje (Seoul), Sakshi (Mumbai) and SCAI Bathhouse (Tokyo).

25 May 2017
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