This Is Shahnoza In 3 Parts 1 is a print from Julian Opie’s This Is Shahnoza In 3 Partsseries (2008) that shows a highly stylised image of a nude model bent backwards and leaning on her right hand with her left hand lifted above her blank, circular head. The subject of the nine-part series of life-size works is a professional pole dancer called Shahnoza and the prints were originally exhibited at the Alan Cristea Gallery in 2008.
Showing linear images of Shahnoza in nine different poses, each print in the This Is Shahnoza In 3 Partsseries is divided into three framed panels that follow the position of the model. Opie used a combination of screen printing and flocking to create these works, creating a black, velvety surface texture which contrasts with the pure white acrylic support panels.
Opie’s use of the flocking technique, a process of adhering fine textile fibres to a surface, is indicative of his desire to engage with art historical techniques to create decidedly modern images. Historically, flocking is associated with wall coverings that were popular during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Furthermore, Opie explores the nude human form as the basis of the series, something that has preoccupied artists for generations. However, this traditional art historical genre is turned on its head by explicitly citing the model as a professional pole dancer.