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Format: Signed Print
Size: H 75cm x W 70cm
Edition size: 160
We Swam Amongst The Fishes 1 is a large-scale screen print from Julian Opie’s 2003 series We Swam Amongst The Fishes showing an open space of water featuring various species of fish swimming in an open body of water. Opie depicts the scene in his characteristic graphic style, and flattened colour, rendering the fish in thick, dark outlines set against a lilac backdrop.
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.