Imagine You Are Driving (Fast)/Jacques/Helmet is one of a series of prints by Julian Opie from 2002 that shows an empty expanse of road alongside a portrait of the famous Formula One driver Jacques Villeneuve. The large expanse of tarmac takes up about two thirds of the print, showing white lines and road markings that follow the rules of perspective to the slightly off-centre vanishing point. The portrait of Villeneuve takes up the rest of the composition, depicted in Opie’s typical simplified style using block colour and bold line.
Opie invites the viewer to step into the shoes of the race driver that he depicts, showing a view of the racetrack from the driver’s perspective. Paired with the print’s title, the world represented in this image is suggestive of computer driving games where the participant goes on a virtual journey. This video game aesthetic is typical of Opie’s landscape work from the late 1990s that encourages the viewer to step into a stylised representation of the world.
Speaking of his work in relation to viewer participation, Opie has said, "I think my work is about trying to be happy… I want the world to seem like the kind of place you’d want to escape into… Mundane things are just as exciting as all the things you might imagine escaping into."