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Ika 1

Ika 1
Signed Print

Julian Opie

Digital Print, 2011
Signed Print Edition of 40
H 118cm x W 80cm

Critical Review

Ika is representative of Opie’s fascination with the genre of portraiture but rather than show a highly detailed character study, the subject appears more like a generic sign. Using computer-drawing programmes to complete his works, Opie finds a standardised version of the human figure, such as the signs used on lavatory doors, and combines this with a digital photograph of a real person.

Balancing nuanced styles of Western art with graphic traditions of caricature and illustration, Ika 2 appears like a 21st century version of a portrait of a royal or aristocrat. In depicting the sitter without facial features, using a blank circle floating above her shoulders as a head, Opie subverts the traditional genre to provoke ideas surrounding what makes a portrait of a person distinct. Opie uses drastically simplified form to create the base of many of his portraits, embellishing each one with clothing, resulting in a variety of unique types.