Julian Opie’s portraits of the body in motion are snapshots of contemporary life illustrated in simplified graphic silhouettes. Opie’s bold black outlines take inspiration from Japanese woodblock prints, hieroglyphics, and universal symbols such as traffic signs. Each couple is pared down to essential forms and identifying symbols that generate just enough detail for the viewer to fill in the rest of the picture. In describing his use of photography, Opie has noted the importance of capturing the precise moment of movement: “I need people to be in a certain moment in their stride, a moment that is balanced with their knees bent and their weight on one foot…I’ll draw all the people who are drawable and then I’ll play with them and mix and match them into groups.” Although each pair of figures is in close proximity, their body language and varied trajectories create a sense of independence from one another. The overall effect evokes the particular feeling of being a part of a crowd while remaining absorbed within your own world, an experience collectively understood by anyone who has travelled through a busy city like New York.
Including: New York Couple 1.; New York Couple 2.; New York Couple 3.; New York Couple 4.; New York Couple 5.; New York Couple 6.; New York Couple 7.; New York Couple 8.
In addition to the catalogue description, each with full margins, in very good condition, framed New York Couple 1.: a soft scuff in the left subject's right shoulder Please note this lot consists of eight framed prints.