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Julian Opie

Born: 1958. Nationality: British.

Julian Opie was born in London but brought up in Oxford where he attended Magdalene College School; he later attended Goldsmith's College of Art in London from 1979 - 1982.  One of his tutors at Goldsmith's was the conceptual artist and painter, Michael Craig-Martin who was a powerful influence of many of the emerging generation of Young British Artists (YBAs), including Opie who adopted a stylised drawing technique similar to that used by Craig-Martin.

It is a bold, simplified style which reflects the essence of familiar images often taken from advertising and graphic design.  Opie has said: "I am simply using that which is available to describe that which is experienced."  His works typically use bold, black outlines and flat areas of colour to capture the essence of the subject - brilliantly so in the case of his portrait pieces, for instance.  The portraits used on the celebrated album cover of 'Blur's Greatest Hits' brought his work to a large, appreciative audience.

The collection also contains work by Craig-Martin and Patrick Caulfield whose style is also reflected in Opie's work.