Taken from Julian Opie’s Watching Suzanne series from 2006, Watching Suzanne (front) 9 shows a tightly cropped image of a woman’s torso and thighs, wearing only her underwear. Opie creates a highly stylised image, depicting the woman’s body with thick, black lines against a white backdrop.
Indicated by the print’s title, Watching Suzanne (Front) 9 is an image that represents the act of looking itself and Opie emphasises this by the intense cropping of the frame. Captured mid-movement as the figure sways from side to side, Opie creates a sense of dynamism across the series as a whole whereby each print shows a different snapshot in time.
As a computer-generated image, rendered in such a way that the figure appears more like a sign than an individual, Opie produces a depersonalised portrait of a stereotypically attractive woman. Showing only the model’s torso, thus leaving out her face and other details that may distinguish the figure, Opie anonymises the image and forces the viewer to consider why they find this image so alluring.