奧貝早期的作品均帶有敘事性，雕塑充滿不敬和挖苦意味，靈感來自著名藝術品，或以日常物品如食物、家具和書籍等作為題材，用切割並著色的鋼材製成。他的後期作品雖然也以鋼材造成，但表面處理卻有所不同，暗示家用設備和「白色家電」的精確性。奧貝的雕塑作品富建築特色，以金屬或木料製作，令人聯想起辦公室、房屋及公共空間的建築細節，結合幾何抽象藝術，並簡化至最基本的構成元素。過往十年，他的繪畫創作都追求一種強烈簡潔的平面藝術風格，其靈感來自四方八面，如廣告牌、古典人像和雕塑，以至古典日本木刻版畫等。奧貝採用各種媒介和技術作「繪畫」，致令他在題材上開拓了立體視覺的探索，《蘇珊娜在走路》(2005) 就是其中的例子，展示了他獨特的創作靈感。他以光柵片印刷營造了深度和動作的幻象，當觀眾徘徊在作品前時，主角蘇珊娜就像有生命似的在恍動。奧貝的平面人像風格和電腦設計，令他輕易地游走於當代藝術和商業設計界之間。2000年，奧貝受委約設計英國樂隊Blur專輯封面；2006年，又為樂隊U2 Vertigo的世界巡迴表演創作了LED投影。
Julian Opie was born in London in 1958, and studied at Goldsmiths College of Art from 1979 to 1982. He lives and works in London.
Opie’s early works are narrative: irreverent, tongue-in-cheek sculptures based on famous works of art, of everyday objects such food, furniture and books. They are made from cut and painted steel. Later works, also made from steel but with an entirely different surface finish, suggested the cool precision of domestic appliances and “white” goods. His work developed an architectural presence with sculptures made from metal or wood, which recall offices, houses and the architectural detailing of public spaces, combined with references to geometric abstract art and reduced to their most basic elements. Over the past decade he has consistently pursued painting with a strong graphic and pared-down style. Drawing from influences as diverse as billboard signs, classical portraiture and sculpture to classical Japanese woodblock prints, Opie “paints” using a variety of media and technologies which enable him to make three-dimensional explorations of his subjects. An example of this is Suzanne Walking (2005) which portrays one of Opie’s most commonly featured muses. The use of a lenticular print gives the illusion of depth and movement, bringing Suzanne to life as the viewer walks around the work. Opie’s graphic portraiture style and use of computer aided design has seen him move easily between the fields of contemporary art and commercial design. In 2000 he was commissioned to design the cover of an album for the British band Blur, and in 2006 created an LED projection for U2’s Vertigo world tour.
He has exhibited extensively. Important solo exhibitions and recent selected shows include: Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain; World Expo, Shanghai, 2010; Lisson Gallery, London, 2008 and 2004; Art Tower Mito, Tokyo, 2008; Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007; and the Hayward Gallery, 1993.