Contemporary Print Market Report
Julian Opie: Ruth Smoking 3 - Signed Print

Ruth Smoking 3
Signed Print

Julian Opie


This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.

Screenprint, 2006
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 121cm x W 80cm

Critical Review

Amidst a contemporary world saturated with information, Opie presents us with an image stripped down to the bare minimum components that make up a portrait. Ruth Smoking is rendered in a decidedly depersonalised visual language. The element of smoking offered Opie the opportunity to animate this image with smoke in further iterations of the subject, thus allowing him to not represent a story but a sense of time through a static portrait.

Producing a computer generated image that uses flat, saturated colour and simplified shapes, Opie mimics the visual language of mass media and advertising. Ruth Smoking 3 also plays into this idea through depicting a stereotypical image of the ‘ideal’ woman as found in magazines, television and film. By rendering the figure with minimal facial features by which to determine who the sitter is, Opie forces the viewer to consider why they find this image so alluring and what constitutes attractiveness.

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