£5,000-£6,000 VALUE (EST.)
AUD8,000-AUD10,000 VALUE (EST.)
CAD7,000-CAD9,000 VALUE (EST.)
CNY40,000-CNY45,000 VALUE (EST.)
€6,000-€7,000 VALUE (EST.)
HKD45,000-HKD50,000 VALUE (EST.)
¥780,000-¥930,000 VALUE (EST.)
$5,000-$7,000 VALUE (EST.)
This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 121cm x W 82cm
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Ruth Smoking 5 is a print from Julian Opie’s Ruth Smokingseries that features a half-length portrait of an art collector living in Geneva who commissioned the portrait. The sitter looks directly at the viewer with a deadpan expression, her features defined as two buttons for eyes, two dots for a nose and two lines for a mouth.
The figure is shown semi-undressed with her breasts partially exposed by Opie’s rendering of a thin blouse that hangs over her breasts to give the image a certain amount of depth. Opie created a video version of this print, depicting the same model with her eyes blinking, wearing a watch with the second hand ticking, and wisps of smoke rising from her cigarette. By creating moving images Opie brings his subjects to life, but paired with his reductivist visual language, these images produce a lingering sense of unease within the viewer.
Ruth Smoking 5 is indicative of Opie’s interest in Ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese woodblock prints from the 18th and 19th centuries that often depicted female beauties not meant for exhibition. Opie’s particular interest in Ukiyo-e artist Kitagawa Utamaro comes through in these portraits of Ruth through his choice of eroticised subject matter and use of flattened colour, cropped format and simplified shapes.