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Signed Print Edition of 10
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Portrait, by British artist Julian Opie, was originally released in 1980 in an edition of 10. In typical Opie style, the contours of the sitter’s face have been reduced to thick black lines and solid planes of colour. The lack of shadowing and highlights lends the image a decisive Pop Art, minimalist aesthetic.
Opie is perhaps best known for his portraits where faces are reduced to a series of lines, with a bold colour selected as the background, emphasising the flatness of the composition. By reducing images and subject matters to their most essential elements, such as in Portrait, Opie endeavours to interrogate how images are perceived and understood. These essential elements are then executed in a minimal, almost cartoon-like style, which draws inspiration from public signage to Japanese Manga and Egyptian hieroglyphics.