Doodle do dum | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Doodle do dum

Acclaimed British artist Julian Opie’s artworks are on display at his debut Indian solo show, at the Sakshi Gallery, till February 24, writes Jigna Padhiar.

art and culture Updated: Feb 04, 2009 19:09 IST
Jigna Padhiar

Acclaimed British artist Julian Opie’s artworks are on display at his debut Indian solo show, at the Sakshi Gallery, till February 24. <b1>

It takes a while to look at Opie's works as art. His unique doodle-like artworks remind you of toilet signs, pictograms and comic characters, much like Tintin. Over the years, he has created art that is a mix of commercial art and fine art, something that is uncommon on the Indian art scene.

Inspiration points
The current exhibition displays a number of projects of the artist created over the years. These include a project called This is Shahnoza, images of a pole dancer who posed for him at his studio, Ruth with Cigarette, images of an art collector who insisted that he should draw her and landscapes from his early projects.

“I like to work on projects and make multiples of one subject. I got inspired by a Japanese artist, who would make portraits of people indulging in an activity. I created the series Ruth with a Cigarette because these days, smoking brings calm and relaxation to most people,”he explained.

The exhibition has works in different mediums like painting, prints, LCDs and paper cutouts. “The choosing of the medium comes with the need to experiment and explore, ” he says.

Past designs
The 51-year-old artist began his style in the early 90's out of his fascination with the signs of public lavatories and is today one of the finest contemporary artists. He began with photographing people and then creating line drawings that would resemble the faces.

Minimalism dominates his artwork. A mere dot for eyes, a line for the lips or camouflage designs for landscapes does the trick. Although simple to look at, the intensity and intricacy underlining his images is obvious. Turning everyday into fine art seems to be a preoccupation.

Other than art for gallery spaces, Opie has created the album sleeve design for the rock band Blur (The Best of Blur), designed animation pieces for U2 concerts, a monumental work for Bryan Adams and portraits of Kate Moss among other celebrities, putting pop art into portraiture.