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Relief print, 2020
Signed Print Edition of 55
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Joe Syer, Head of Urban & Contemporary Art
Street 1 is a signed relief print made by the critically acclaimed British artist Julian Opie in 2020. Coming in an edition size of 55 the print shows four figures captured in motion, walking across the composition. The figures do not know one another, evident from the way they are all walking in different directions. A tall male figure is rendered in yellow who can be seen taking long strides with his hands in his pockets, implying he is in a rush and does not want to be approached. Behind him is a woman with long hair in a ponytail. Opie depicts the woman wearing a dress and carrying a large handbag. The third figure, walking in the opposite direction to the right of the composition, is rendered using thick white lines, and the man in front of her is rendered in dark green. The final male figure seems older than the others from his gait and hunched back. The figures are set against a bright orange backdrop and are all drawn using thick lines.
All the figures in Street 1 have had their faces replaced by simple circles hovering above their shoulders. The figures in Street 1 capture the essence of Opie’s distinct visual language which is characterised by his use of simplified forms and thick black lines filled with blocks of colour. Street 1 can be seen alongside five other prints in the Street collection, all of which show a variety of people walking through the city.
The figures Opie draws are frequently depicted without facial features which reflects how Opie chooses to depict ordinary people who are not known by the viewer, as opposed to finding ‘iconic’ subjects who are instantly recognisable.