In 'Aniela, singer' the personal characteristics that distinguish every human face have been omitted. Julian Opie has reduced the image down to its essential forms, yet has retained the girl's brown hair and small blue eyes that hint at her real identity. Just as an advertising billboard conveys a message with the minimum of visual detail, the depiction of Aniela has become a symbol of the real person. It is this reduction and the suggestion of her occupation in the title that makes it a compelling image.
Opie sources his imagery from the everyday world, from fashion models to skyscrapers. His influences are as diverse as classical portraiture, comic books and computer games. Using animation, vinyl, sound and LED displays, his playful explorations of human portraiture challenge our immediate stereotypes of a sitter.
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; and in 2003, he created separate visual art projects for Sadlers Wells theatre and Selfridges.
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