The exhibition starts in an outdoor area, in the Plaza del Patriarca in Valencia. There, two giant figures 12 meters high and 6 tons of weight are imposed. “They are the largest sculptures that the artist has made in his life”, reveals Javier Molins, curator of the exhibition. “It continues with a series of 4 walkers who are on the sides of the square and who invite you to continue the journey into the cloister of La Nau .”
In this interior, the characteristic figures of Opie reappear three corridors that seem to dialogue with the statue of Luis Vives. “The Valencian humanist moved to London to work at the court of Henry VIII and now these sculptures have gone the other way from there.” Finally, in the academy room, you can see two videos, two lightboxes, and two cubes. In them, Opie’s human figure is shown in motion or in relief.
“The president of the Hortensia Herrero Foundation wanted this exhibition to come to Valencia to reflect the movement that the city wants to recover, that people start moving again, each one in their environment, in their private life, in their work “, affirms Javier Molins. And it is that the exhibition was forged in times of pandemic, in weeks and months in which the whole world stopped. They are, therefore, 47 portraits, which invite you to move, to interact. Julian Opie captures the essence of his time: he captures today’s society, with people walking down the street without noticing their surroundings, engrossed in their thoughts or on their mobile screen.
For the organizers, it is an exhibition that can be liked by everyone. “He is liked by art experts because he is one of the artists with the greatest international projection today,” says Molins. ” And at the same time, it is an art that all audiences like, those who are not so familiar with art but are familiar with new technologies, people who identify with this type of moving screen or this type of lightbox. “.
Molins delves into the figure of Opie: “She is an artist who has her own collection of ancient art, with sarcophagi from Egypt, friezes from Greece and that is reflected in her work, although it is a very contemporary iconography, influenced by comics and art. anime, those stylized figures with a thick line, it also has that residue of art history and the passage of time.
The work of Julian Opie can be seen at La Nau of the University of Valencia and its surroundings until next September 19.