Julian Opie was born in London, England, in 1958, and raised in Oxford. He studied at Goldsmiths College of the University of London, graduating in 1982.

Opie's work often involves the reduction of a photographic image using computer software. In his portraits, the human face is defined by black outlines and areas of flat color. Facial features are reduced to black circles and lines. He also uses the computer to create animated simulations of driving, walking and climbing using the same reductive technique.

The work of Julian Opie is collected by museums worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago; and the British Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.