Julian Opie.

Several years ago I was amazed by site-specific installations created by Julian Opie. It was in 2008 in Dublin. They were great indeed. The series was titled “Julian Opie: Walking on O’Connell Street” as far as I remember. Several LED screens were installed in the city center. One could see male and female figures walking to nowhere.

Julian Opie is well known and recognized artist of today. Opie graduated from Goldsmith School of Art in 1982. He is a member of so called New British Sculpture group. The works of the group touch on the following themes: “a synthesis of pop and kitsch; assemblage of the decaying UK urban environment and the waste of consumer society; an exploration of the way in which objects are assigned meanings; a play of color, wit and humor”. The description can be applied to some of Opie’s works.

Mostly his works can be described is minimalistic as he never pays attention to details. We can distinguish between male and female but no more. The figures are some kind of indexes of human beings. Why so? Probably because Julian Opie creates his works using computer technologies reducing individual features of the figures he portray. At the same time those figures are not robots at all. They imitate everyday routine and activity. But they are all the same. It seems like they are not individuals. Probably he tries to show us who we are in reality and that we do not differ from each other. Though they say that it is quite fair to compare the figures with the robots developed by Japanese scientists.

So for Opie it is kind of a challenge to use digital media creating objects that mainly refer to everyday life. Opie describes himself his style in the following way, “there is a poetry where nature and people meet technology”. Why not?

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