Julian Opie’s “Train 1" is one work consisting of three parts - a still image, in color, of a landscape (printed and mounted behind glass), a black and white image that moves continuously (on an lcd screen), and sound. The two elements are mounted in one frame to make both a logical and abrupt combination of experiences to make a powerful single work.
As opposed to a third-person analysis of the piece, here are a number of quotes by the artist in regards to his process and this work:
“To make something you need some kind of technology - I suppose that is what technology means. I look for the best, fastest way to make things that suits my way of thinking. Computers do that. They are very good for drawing and communicating. I use hand made methods, mosaics and paintings, as well as laser cutting and electronic displays. If I lived on the beach I guess I would use sand and palm leaves. The important thing is to find a language in drawing and materials and to learn to talk with them.”
“Every work comes from previous works and it's a long story that goes back to works I made when I first starting to look at and draw the world. By drawing you can see, and by seeing you learn to draw, it's an ongoing process. I need to really see something to be able to draw it and even then it can take years to figure out how to first draw and then use those drawings.”
“Movement has always been central to my work, whether it's movement around and through the artworks or the movement of the artworks themselves. Modern technology allows me to make my works move and replace implied dynamic movement with real movement. Life and vision is so much to do with movement - it's odd not to depict movement, really.”
“I am drawing a lot of landscapes at the moment - distant scenes that are glimpsed from a train window or an aeroplane. Some move because you are moving, like a view from the car windscreen and some move because something is moving in the scene, a bird or wind turbine. The movement gives the sense of reality and connection and allows me to bring a very simple scene to life.”
“People often think that artworks are all about content but in some ways they are more about getting whatever content you might have to be just right, to sing.”