Biography of Julian Opie
The distinct reductive style of Julian Opie is instantly recognizable the world over. Taking inspiration from classical portraiture, Japanese woodblocks, and cartoons, in just a few lines Opie is capable of revealing what makes someone unique. Through digital alteration, his thick black outlines and stripped back colors capture the essence of a subject, be it a landscape or figure.
Born in London in 1958, Julian Opie studied at Goldsmiths College under the tutelage of Michael Craig-Martin. He then quickly established himself in the 1980s as one of the leading lights of the burgeoning British art scene. Beginning with a series of painted metal sculptures, Opie became increasingly interested in man’s visual and spatial environments. His work grew larger and more momentous as his signature style developed. His true skill is in distilling the commonplace experience of life into concise works which still blaze with profundity and emotion.
Julian Opie’s style is ideally suited to limited edition prints and multiples and he is a highly skilled printer. From inkjet on canvas to painted aluminum, Opie paints with a vast array of media and technology. In 2000 he famously designed an album for Blur for which he was awarded the Music Week CADS for Best Illustration. He has had numerous exhibitions around the world including the Neues Museum in Nuremberg, Germany in 2003, the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2011, and the Kunsthalle Helsinki in Finland in 2015. He features in many of the biggest museum around the world including MoMA in New York, the British Museum in London, and MoMAT in Tokyo.