Featuring a portrait image of two full-length figures walking, New York Couple 6 is a print from Julian Opie’s New York Couple series from 2019. Set against a pale blue backdrop the figures’ clothing is made up entirely of cold colours, mostly blues, creating an aesthetically cohesive and pleasing image.
As with many of Opie’s depictions of people in his Walking In The Rain series (2015) and Walking Melbourne series (2018), each figure in this print is rendered faceless with a blank circle as a head. New York Couple 6 is indicative of Opie’s interest in people and the human form, representing these figures with the minimum features by which they can be recognised. With his simplified visual language, Opie makes these figures unique through his rendering of clothing, gate, body shape and hair.
Throughout his career, Opie has produced many images of people walking in the form of static prints, paintings, sculpture, and moving images. Using photographs taken by the artist, each print is then manipulated and reduced to a matter of simplified shapes and signs to represent a figure. Opie has said of his work, “Each figure throws up surprises and opportunities that I could not invent – a tattoo or a tasselled dress, a goatee or the logo on a T-shirt.”