Julian Opie

13 July - 13 October 2002

British artist Julian Opie was commissioned to make work for the opening exhibition at BALTIC in July 2002. As well as exhibiting at BALTIC, he was an advisor with the design team during BALTIC’s construction and helped to make important decisions about the practical use of BALTIC for artists. Through his art, Opie simplifies images and everyday objects to create symbols. He is interested in signs and signage and how scale can affect objects. “I try to make a universal symbol for each individual I draw.” “An object at a different scale becomes a different object.”

For B.OPEN, Opie outlined 2 large-scale male and female nudes in black vinyl directly onto the walls and floors on Level 2. These reclining figures stretched a massive eight metres high by almost seventeen metres long! The figure on the floor also stretched the whole length of the gallery and was intended to be walked on. Perhaps the artist was playing a tempting game with his audience! Opie also positioned two embracing figures on the fac╠žade of the viewing box as well as reclining nude figures on the glass boxes at either end of Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

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