I don’t invent or imagine things, just notice and record them. The choices about scale, style, language, materials and reference are my tools. I choose normal things because I must know them intimately and feel they are common currency so they can be turned into symbols. I don’t draw parrots or flamingoes, I like the boring as it’s only when you are bored that you can see. – Julian Opie
Julian Opie: Walking in Melbourne at the National Gallery of Victoria
When Julian Opie was asked to do a show in Melbourne, Australia, he got in touch with a local photographer and asked him to set up cameras in various locations around the city to photograph passers-by. The photographer sent Opie hundreds of photos, which became the basis for Opie’s Walking in Melbourne series, available at VFA.
“Some 60 drawings later,” Opie said, “I have a palette of characters and have been using them in a range of paintings and statues. Each one throws up surprises and opportunities that I could not invent – a tattoo or a tasselled dress, a goatee or the logo on a T-shirt. I have one group from the middle of the city and one from the beach. By making groups of six walkers I get a street crowd, and a list, and a kind of fashion parade.”
The Julian Opie exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria includes portraits, landscapes and urban themes, all in Opie’s simple, pop style. The exhibit, currently on display, will run until February 17, 2019.
The Universal Appeal of Julian Opie
Since the 1980s, when Julian Opie emerged as an influential figure on the British art scene, his work has garnered universal appeal. Opie’s works are in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Tate, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Essl Collection in Vienna, the Institut Valencià d’Art Modern in Spain, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and Takamatsu City Museum of Art in Japan.
His work has recently been included in a home by Seoul-based designer, Teo Yang. The house itself is a hanok, a traditional Korean house, first designed and built in the 14th century, many of which have been disappearing to make way for modern developments.
The hanok was traditionally built to fit naturally into its surroundings, complimenting the land and fitting in with the seasonal changes that nature brings. Every detail is carefully thought out, and with that in mind, Teo Yang chose Julian Opie’s work for the home’s living room. Opie’s work is equally at home in Seoul as it is in London, Miami or Melbourne.
Walking in Melbourne Series at VFA
Walking in Melbourne, 1 through six in the series , is available at VFA. Each 25 x 62 inch relief print is framed in white, as specified by Julian Opie.
Please contact us if you would like more information about Walking in Melbourne or any of the other fine works available at VFA.
Stephanie Bunbury. Fish in the water wall and model crows: Julian Opie’s ‘groovy’ art comes to NGV. The Sydney Morning Herald. November 17, 2018.
Ellie Stathaki. Traditional South Korean architecture meets innovation in a renovated hanok house.Wallpaper*. December 26, 2018.