Julian Opie’s Imagine You Are Driving (Fast)/Rio is from a series of prints from 2002 called Imagine You Are Driving (Fast). This series of prints invites the viewer into a simulated world of Formula 1 driving, rendered in Opie’s bold, linear style that works to create a depersonalised image. On the left hand side of the composition Opie depicts an empty expanse of tarmac disappearing into the distance and devoid of all human presence. The right hand side of the print shows a portrait of a famous Honda F1 driver, indicating who’s view of the road we are seeing.
Opie was commissioned to create this series by Artwise to devise an exciting and original way of showcasing the Honda F1 team to engage audiences beyond the racetrack. Originally displayed as a 60-metre-long installation, Opie was selected to be part of this project due to his ongoing obsession with movement and car culture as subject matter.
Through his ‘depersonalised’ visual language, Opie’s Imagine You Are Driving (Fast) is compelling in its depiction of movement and dynamism through the use of static images that are highly simplified. In juxtaposing the portrait with the Grand Prix track, the viewer is invited to take on the perspective of the sitter and imagine a journey of their own.