British, born 1958
Julian Opie translates photographs and short films into graphics, paring down his animations to the simplest of forms. Drawing on diverse influences including advertising and Japanese manga, Opie evokes real people and places with the barest of means: black outlines and flat areas of color. The source material for Julian and Suzanne Walking is a series of short videos the artist made of himself and another model walking on treadmills at varying speeds. The footage was then imported into a software system, edited, drawn over, and reanimated. While Opie gives his figures few personal details, they nonetheless retain a sense of individual expression. Suzanne’s sexy and empowered stride humorously offsets her male companion’s cumbersome gait. Opie continuously mines the middle ground between reality and simulation as he transforms his subjects into icons of contemporary life.
Label from Screen Play: Life in an Animated World, June 20–September 13, 2015