We Swam Amongst The Fishes 1

We Swam Amongst The Fishes 1
Signed Print

Julian Opie

Screenprint, 2003
Signed Print Edition of 160
H 75cm x W 70cm

Critical Review

Inspired by a trip to Bali, this series is unusual for Opie in terms of subject matter but is representative of the artist’s desire to capture the world around him. Opie invites the viewer to step into each scene that he depicts, showing a view of the water from a diver’s perspective. Paired with the series title, the perspective of the diver is also emphasised by the way the fish swim in different directions and some appear to face outwards.

We Swam Amongst the Fishes 1 is notable for its square format and all-over composition that prioritises style over accurate representation. As a computer-generated image, this print is indicative of fantastical scenes in video games, spurring a sense of the familiar, yet alien in the viewer. Opie thus encourages the viewer to step into a stylised representation of the world so as to question how we look at the real world we live in.