Julian Opie was born in London in 1958, and studied at Goldsmiths College of Art from 1979 – 1982. He lives and works in London.
Opie's early works are narrative: irreverent, tongue-in-cheek sculptures based on famous works of art, of everyday objects such food, furniture and books, made from cut and painted steel. Later works, also made from steel but with an entirely different surface finish, suggested the cool precision of domestic appliances and 'white' goods. His work developed an architectural presence with sculptures made from metal or wood, which recall offices, houses and the architectural detailing of public spaces, combined with references to geometric abstract art and reduced to their most basic elements. Over the past decade he has consistently pursued painting with a strong graphic and pared down style. Drawing from influences as diverse as billboard signs, classical portraiture and sculpture, to classical Japanese woodblock prints, Opie 'paints' using a variety of media and technologies which enable him to make three-dimensional explorations of his subjects. An example of this is Suzanne Walking (2005) which portrays one of Opie’s most commonly featured muses. The use of a lenticular print gives the illusion of depth and movement, bringing Suzanne to life as the viewer walks around the work. Opie’s graphic portraiture style and use of computer aided design has seen him move easily between the fields of contemporary art and commercial design. In 2000 he was commissioned to design the cover of an album for British band Blur, and in 2006 created an LED projection for U2’s Vertigo world tour.
Made in Britain Contemporary Art from the British Council Collection 1980-2010,China Federation of Literary and Art Circles Publishing Corporation 2010. ISBN 978-7-5059-7014-4.