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Mixed Media, 2006
Signed Mixed Media Edition of 25
H 83cm x W 57cm
Watching Suzanne (front) 7 is a print by Julian Opie from his 2006 Watching Suzanne series, rendered in the artist’s graphic style. The print features a dramatically cropped image of a woman’s torso and thighs as viewed from the front, wearing only her underwear. The image is depicted exclusively in black and white and very thick lines.
In cropping out the figure’s arms and lower half of her legs, Opie creates a highly abstracted image of the human form. Despite the flattened picture plane and use of thick, graphic lines, the image exudes a sense of realism in the way it captures the human body and thus provokes a bodily response from the viewer. Opie’s effectiveness in depicting the human form mixed with his strong sense of line, and bold use of simplified shapes is indicative of the way he strikes a balance between graphic design and high art.
Opie’s depiction of the human body explores the tension between general and specific reality, transforming individual subjects into universal signs so as to interrogate the genre of life drawing. Speaking of his desire to go beyond the traditional boundaries of art and art history Opie has said, “Our attitude towards art history, towards schools, styles and ‘isms’, was quite aggressive. We wanted to manipulate them, to use whatever style we wished.”