Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa
Signed Print

Julian Opie

Digital Print, 2011
Signed Print Edition of 40
H 118cm x W 81cm

Critical Review

Maria Theresa engages with the canonical art historical genre of portraiture and appears as though it were an image 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 form the base of many of his portraits, embellishing each one with clothing, resulting in a variety of unique types.

In creating this portrait through ‘objective’ computer technologies, Opie forms a kind of ‘non’ style that disguises the artist’s hand. Much like the way in which the identity of the sitter is partially disguised, Opie contains subjectivity within a depersonalised syntax of signs.