Antonia is a print by Julian Opie from 2011 that shows a three-quarter length portrait of a woman leaning against a pillar and wearing a black formal dress. The woman is rendered anonymous by her featureless face that consists of a blank circle floating above her shoulders, but through Opie’s attention to detail in clothing, accessories, and hairstyle, the figure is unique.
Opie produces this print with simplified form, bright block colours and thick, bold outlines creating a portrait in its most basic mode. However, Opie makes the point that there is more to this print than first assumed: ‘Some people often talk about my portraiture being pared-down but I don’t quite see it that way. I see it as starting from a point of view saying, ‘I’d like to make something, I’d like to mark my presence, I’d like to communicate what it feels like to look at things.’
The figure’s featureless face that Opie depicts works as a blank reflection whereby when the viewer looks at this representation of the human form they think of themselves and how they relate to it. Opie’s depersonalised style creates an ambiguous sense of subjectivity in the sitter that is extremely effective.