Speaking of New York, it is believed that many people have heard the classic song before, "Empire State of Mind", which represents the spirit of New York. Just imagine the picture when the singer shouted out "New York, New York”, how the powerful singing would touch everyone who dreams to New York.
As the outsider from England, artist Julian Opie, he walked into the hustle and bustle concrete jungle, New York. He employed his unique technique to transform the images of city life into minimalist figures. It could be kind of bizarre when Opie used simple lines to describe urban life. Especially, New York is always treated as the world's hub with a profound cultural background. He brought visual conflict to the audience through his unique style.
Accordingly, New York is one of the most well-known series of works by Julian Opie. By simplifying the appearance of characters, using simple lines and color blocks, Opie creates a variety of faces for people who are commuting. Some carried suitcases walking rapidly on the street as if they hurried to work. Some with sportswear were wandering down the street. Although the audience can't distinguish the expressions of the characters, through the vibrant body movements, they can tell that the characters seem to jump out of the paintings.
The whole idea came from a circle. Opie doesn't imagine through photos. He creates by observing the people on the street. Especially when Opie stood on the street and observed passers-by walking, he can only imagine the identity of the passerby through their faces, hairstyles, and hair colors. Then he started to paint the person's posture and clothes. For Opie, the movement of pedestrians is more like dancing, which he tried to transform it into paintings.
Julian Opie was born in London in 1958. Opie graduated from the Goldsmiths College of the University of London. He is well-known for integrating pop art and minimalism to create unique modern characters / landscapes. His works range includes painting, video, installation art, and album covers. He has designed the album cover for the British band Blur and created LED projections on the concert of the Irish band U2. He began to emerge in art field in the 1980s. In the early days, he mainly created pop art style sculptures. Then, in the mid-term, he turned into a minimalist style artist. Until the 1990s, Opie started creating works with cars, landscapes, people, and buildings. Inspired by street signs, Opie simplified the details of the object with black line drawing. Thus, it is built up his personal style with flat symbol. His works can be found in public art installations in major international cities such as Dentsu Building in Tokyo (2002), City Hall Park in New York (2004), Vltava River in Prague (2007), Phoenix Art Museum (2007), Ireland Dublin City Gallery (2008), Regent's place in London (2011) and others. His works are collected in international institutions such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Tate Museum in London, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and others.