Op Art

When browsing Fashion feeds on Pinterest, I came across this image. I was instantly drawn in by the use of black and white lines, on both the background and clothes. I liked the way the lines made the image seem like its moving, along with the slightly ‘off’ camouflage of the model. 


I started to research further and I came across the artist Bridget Riley. Riley’s paintings became in the public eye when she exhibited along with Victor Varsarely and others in an exhibtion called the ‘Responsive Eye’ in 1965 in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Her paintings present a great variety of Geometric forms. What I like about this is the way it tricks the eye and creates illusions, acting like a hallucinogenic.

Around this time the ‘Op Art’ movement came about, which is a form of geometric abstraction. 

“I couldn’t get near what I wanted through seeing, recognizing and recreating, so I stood the problem on its head. I started studying squares, rectangles, triangles and the sensations they give rise to… It is untrue that my work depends on any literary impulse or has any illustrative intention. The marks on the canvas are sole and essential agents in a series of relationships which form the structure of the painting.” – Bridget Riley

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t looked into ‘Op art’ before as its so commonly used in Fashion, design and advertising. I remember seeing a gallery of optical paintings at the Tate, but at the time I didn’t stop to appreciate how interesting they were. Thinking back, I remember whizzing through the room not giving the paintings much time, maybe because it takes more energy to engage with a painting that seems to be always moving.

br-2PrintUntitled [Fragment 3/11] 1965 Bridget Riley born 1931 Purchased 1970 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P07106

As part of the last 4 weeks of our pathway stage I am thinking about creating a body extension, and I think incorporating the idea of optical illusions could be interesting. Possibly creating something that tricks the eye, or is portrayed differently depending on the angles you look at it.