On occasion of his fourth solo-show at the Galleria Valentina Bonomo, Julian Opie will be presenting his latest walking figures – thirteen works featuring human figures seen walking in the street.
Each of them is unique, with a style all their own, expressed in their clothing, their movements and the objects they carry, or simply the accessories they wear. The works’ protagonists are caught going about their daily lives – these are people walking somewhere for a very specific reason, often clutching phones or reading an email.
The artist develops and transforms his subjects, arriving at the essence of their forms via a process in which the marks he makes are reduced to a minimum. The result is works that may be stylised but lose nothing in terms of expressiveness or individuality, and whose freshness is rendered all the more emphatic by the extreme directness with which they present themselves to the viewer.
Opie’s works, which have been described as “modern icons” of a generic and generalised existence, turn a spotlight on questions associated with the psychology of perception and with knowledge-as-practice, delving into the ambiguities of the relationship linking reality and its totemic representations. The world Opie depicts, using digital technology, is effectively a meditation on the complex interplay between nature and artifice, and between signs/marks and reality as we observe and experience it.
(from the press release)
Julian Opie (critic text by Valentino Catricalà), Galleria Valentina Bonomo, Rome, 11.05.2023
images: (cover 1) Julian Opie, invitation (2) Julian Opie, portrait