Rendered in the artist’s typical graphic style, Watching Suzanne (front) 8 is a print from Julian Opie’s Watching Suzanne series from 2008. Featuring a simplified graphic line drawing of a woman’s torso and thighs, wearing only her underwear, this print is a highly stylised and recognisable image.
Opie has titled this print Watching Suzanne (front) 8 and dramatically cropped its composition so as to represent the act of looking itself and question the male gaze on women’s bodies in art history. Using a depersonalised visual language through his use of black line against a white backdrop and not depicted the model’s face, Opie creates a tension between the specific and generic by using a sense of movement to simultaneously create a sense of realism in this print.
Watching Suzanne (front) 8 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.