Julian Opie’s print Elena And Cressie Get Ready For The Party 4 from the artist’s Elena And Cressie Get Ready For The Party series (2011) shows a portrait of a young woman in the artist’s late graphic style. This sitter is depicted in a traditional pose, looking over her shoulders to the left of the image frame.
Opie has created this image using digital photography and computer drawing programmes, a creative process he is well versed in and renowned for. Initially Opie captures the sitter through digital photographs so as to get a feel for their personality and point to any crucial details that are integral to their character. He then chooses his favourite images and draws over the individual photographs on the computer to reduce and abstract the original image.
Set against a bright orange and red backdrop, Elena And Cressie Get Ready For The Party 4 has no contextual backdrop to situate the subject. This is typical of Opie’s highly graphic style that aims to confront the viewer with the artificiality of his computer-generated images. Retaining tonal details in the contours of the sitter’s face and finer details such as eyelashes, the figure appears like an animated character from a video game.