Taken from Julian Opie’s This Is Shahnoza In 3 Partsseries from 2008, This Is Shahnoza In 3 Parts 5 features a graphic line drawing of a nude figure with her legs crossed and pulled to her chest. The print is rendered exclusively in black and white and is produced in a semi-sculptural format of three rectangles that follow the pose of the model.
Opie depicts the human form in a highly stylised manner showing the model’s head as a blank circle, without a neck and her feet cut off, showing only straps for shoes. Despite the figure’s abstracted form, her pose is decidedly realistic, no doubt due to Opie’s use of photography in the initial stages of creating the print. Opie’s images of people engage with longstanding ideas that have characterised art history by questioning what intrinsic elements are needed to convey a narrative or person’s character.
Charged with an explicitly sexualised tone, This is Shahnoza in 3 Parts 5 presents the viewer with the bare minimum in terms of the human form, and so Opie challenges the viewer to think about why they find this image so alluring. In partitioning the image into three parts, the viewer compartmentalises the figure’s body and Opie makes a point of emphasising the central panel as the most overtly sexualised.