This Is Shahnoza Horizontal 7 is a print from Julian Opie’s This Is Shahnoza Horizontalseries that stemmed from his work with a pole dancer called Shahnoza who he met in Soho, London. The print shows an image of Shahnoza nude and lying horizontally with her left knee bent and right leg outstretched. Opie produces the print in a horizontal format that echoes the pose of the figure, set against a bright teal backdrop.
This print is representative of Opie’s desire to form new and dynamic compositions from the same model, opting in this case for a full-length horizontal format that differs from his iconic full-length vertical portraits of people. In order to create the images of Shahnoza, Opie worked with the professional pole dancer for two days, taking over 1,000 photographs each day, simultaneously using two video cameras to capture her movements in real time. Opie therefore had an abundance of material to create many portraits of the same model.
As a computer-generated image, rendered in such a way that the figure appears more like a sign than an individual, Opie produces a depersonalised portrait of an archetype of male desire. By presenting the figure without any facial features and a floating blank circle as a head, Opie forces the viewer to consider why they find this image so alluring and what constitutes attractiveness.