“The process of reading things as simulations but knowing at the same time that they are real is quite central to my work.”
Julian Opie (b. London, United Kingdom, 1958) is best known for his instantly recognizable pared-down, reductive works that speak to the artist’s interest in reality and perception. Born in London, Opie studied with the conceptual artist Michael-Craig Martin at Goldsmiths in London in the 1980s. Initially part of the New British Sculpture group, Opie’s early work primarily consisted of steel sculptures which explored the relationship between vision and space before expanding into painting and other media. His portraits and landscapes are characterized by a schematic treatment featuring thick black outlines and planes of solid color inspired by a diverse range of influences including classical portraiture, Japanese woodblock prints, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Pop art, road signs, and billboards. Most recently, Opie has expanded into the digital realm through LED projections and graphic art. He lives and works in London.