Tourist With Child is a screen print from Julian Opie’s Tourists series (2014) that features a portrait of a man holding his child. Opie created this series from a selection of photographs taken on a family day out to the South Bank in London where there are always crowds of different people. Using these photographs, Opie simplifies the shapes and flattens the colours to anonymise the sitters and create an abstracted image.
Rendered as three-quarter length portraits, Opie’s Tourists series is reminiscent of old master paintings in the traditional poses of the figures. Opie however makes these otherwise traditional portraits casual and modern through his use of subject matter and flattened, bright colour.
This print provokes a sense of familiarity within the viewer in that this is a stereotypical image of a tourist in London and the sitter’s anonymity allows for endless interpretations from the viewer. Opie explains why he enjoys depicting familiar scenes stating, "Art often focuses on the bizarre and tried to get past what is normal, to undermine and confound, which is great but I like to deal with what is normal, what is engraved on the back of our eyes and brain, what we use to navigate, what we know, what makes up the palettes of the experienced world."