Still Life With Green Beans, Chilli Pepper And Carrots is a digital print from Julian Opie’s Still Life series from 2001 that shows a simple but striking still life scene. The print shows two carrots, with one cut into slices, four green beans and a red chilli pepper, arranged in a seemingly random composition.
Depicted in bright, saturated colours and set against a stark, black backdrop, Still Life With Green Beans, Chilli Pepper And Carrots uses new computer technology to engage with the art historical tradition of Dutch still life painting. Opie questions the nature of representation throughout art history by presenting a 21st century version of the still life genre. Using a flattened black backdrop, without contextualising the vegetables with shadow or light, this print is made highly stylised, in line with Opie’s characteristic graphic visual language.
This series is indicative of Opie’s desire to work with one idea across a number of different compositions, producing many versions of a similar subject. Across the Still Life series, Opie is almost formulaic with his colour and composition choices, each characterised by a black background and a bright colour palette. This series functions as a study on colour and tone, as Opie pairs the fruit and vegetables together dependent on their contrasting colours.