Showing two figures walking in the same direction, New York Couple 8 is a screen print from Julian Opie’s New York Couple series from 2019. Set against a plain blue backdrop, the two figures are depicted in Opie’s trademark graphic style in bold lines, block colours and with circles as heads.
Opie creates a tension between the specific and the generic in his New York Couple series, using the title to suggest the whereabouts of the figures whilst setting them against a plain, blue backdrop with no specificity. This tension is further explored in Opie's attention to detail in clothing, hair and body shape makes each figure unique. At the same time the figures are anonymised in rendering them faceless with a blank circle as a head.
Captured in the artist’s structured and graphic visual language, New York Couple 8 encapsulates contemporary life in New York in a way that makes the viewer think about their own body in relation to the compelling image. Opie rationalises the human form in a decidedly stylised manner, striking a balance between the soft and human, and the hard and artificial, producing an uncanny effect. Undertaking a task that has preoccupied artists for generations, Opie captures modern life in an entirely unique way.