Julian Opie

Kind of a 21st century Tintin-meets Keith Haring?


Via the Telegraph:

Julian Opie doesn’t want to be interviewed for a profile. ‘I find that people coming here with a bunch of questions they’ve surmised from being on the internet for two hours is frustrating. You get the same stuff regurgitated.’ Instead, he wants to give me a ‘lecture’. He is going to give me a tour of his three-floor studio in Shoreditch, east London, talking about the new work that will be in his show at the Lisson Gallery. The work is up, leaning on walls, or being fiddled with by a team of four assistants. Some of it is making a noise. The sound of cars zooming on a motorway and birds tweeting recurs at random intervals throughout our interview/lecture.

We stand in front of a formal portrait of a woman, knee-length. Maria Teresa could almost have been drawn by Hergé, except that Tintin isn’t quite so minimal. Tintin is two-tone, with flushed cheeks. Maria Teresa’s face and body are an even, standard ‘flesh’ inside thick, black lines. Her nose is two dots. Her eyes are brown with two pinpoint reflections in each. As I examine them, they blink at me. Her dress is painted in a completely different, far more detailed style. Its crystal fringe sways every now and then. The sequins on it shimmer. Then the leaves of the cartoon-style rose she is holding rustle.

This is not, as you will have gathered, a portrait in oils. It is a custom-made LCD screen with a computer tucked in the back that operates an animation. ‘These sparkles off here,’ Opie says, pointing to her diamond and pearl earring, ‘are slightly copied off Cinderella. You know when the prince holds out the shoe and it seems to have these effervescing sparkles? I was watching it with my daughter and I thought, “Yes.”

His website is here and his shop is here

About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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