This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 40
H 61cm x W 53cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Julian Opie’s Gary, Popstar is a print from 1998 made from a hand-cut stencil based on a photograph that the artist altered on a computer. This print is composed of lines and blocks of colour exclusively in black and white creating an extremely pared-back image. The sitter is depicted with buttons as eyes, two dots for nostrils, a mouth suggested by a line and eyebrows that are two clean ‘brushstrokes’.
Gary, Popstar is indicative of the way in which Opie likes to investigate both visual and verbal labels in his work, creating an extremely simplified visual language that appears as a series of signs. This print, along with many other portraits in the artist’s oeuvre, is titled with the sitters first name and occupation, emphasising the way that Opie sought to use as little information as possible to create a distinctly recognisable portrait. Opie’s portraits like this reveal the dehumanising effects of extreme digital simplification due to the sitter’s blank expression.
Despite the graphic reduction of Gary, Popstar, the individuality and likeness of the sitter is immediately apparent. With these portraits, Opie explores the idea that every person is unique in their defining features, even when reduced to a system of simplified signs and shapes.