distant music water traffic
Lambda print laminated to acrylic sheet2000
About the work
Each of the landscapes in this series by Julian Opie have titles based on the sounds he heard when he took the original photographs. From footsteps in a corridor, to just the sound of the wind, these noises reflect Opie’s interest in using his art to create a complete environment for a viewer, or as he has said: ‘What I would really like to do is make a painting and then walk into it.’
Opie uses photographic images as sources for his work, which he over-paints with computer graphics. With their clean, controlled, hermetically sealed appearance, these landscape images present a regulated world which is familiar, yet equally, utterly alienating. Here are idealised places with no sense of age, texture or decay.
By presenting us with a screen (either a TV screen or a car windscreen), Opie encourages the sense of passing through into the image. He gives equal weight to each of the individual elements of the computer-generated images, reducing them to their generic or essential form. This blankness and detachment is what creates a sense of unease, as we move into a world that we cannot fathom or explain.
Opie works in a wide range of media, from paintings and photography, to installation. He credits multiple sources for his work including billboard signs, classical portraits, Japanese bridges and the Silverstone racetrack. The latest digital technology enables him to explore subjects three-dimensionally. For all their apparent ordinariness and simplicity, Opie’s works playfully respond to the many contradictions inherent in contemporary life.
About the artist
Julian Opie was born in London where he still lives and works. He studied at Goldsmiths College, London from 1979 to 1982. He has received many commissions for his work: in 2000 he produced portraits of the pop band Blur for their album. He has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally over the last four decades and his work is held in many important collections including Tate, Arts Council Collection and the National Portrait Gallery in the UK.
Julian Opie (1958 - )
- distant music water traffic
- Lambda print laminated to acrylic sheet
- height: 74.00 cm, width: 110.00 cm
- Purchased from Alan Cristea Gallery, January 2001
- verso: Julian Opie / 29/40
- Alan Cristea Gallery, London
- GAC number