Watching Suzanne (front) 4 is a print from Julian Opie’s Watching Suzanne series from 2006. Showing a closely cropped image of a woman’s torso and thighs, this print is depicted in Opie’s highly recognisable, graphic style. Using black line against a white backdrop, Opie creates the image with simplified shapes and block colour.
Presenting an image of the ‘ideal’ female body as consumed through the mass media, Opie creates an image whereby the figure’s simplicity actually draws more attention to the curves in her body and her sexuality. Using a photograph which is then digitally edited to produce a simplified pictogram, Opie depicts not an identifiable woman, but the process of abstraction itself and makes a point on how we look at images.
Watching Suzanne (front) 4 forms part of a series of 20 images of the figure, that when considered alongside one another, form an animation made up of still images. Opie shows the figure moving her hips from side to side then turning to face away from the viewer. The intense cropping of each image alludes to this notion of a snapshot in time, as opposed to providing the viewer with an entire storyline.