Best People Watching - 2008
Julian and Suzanne Walking
In a city that almost always sleeps, it's rare to see anyone out for a stroll. But there's one couple you can count on: Julian and Suzanne. You'll find them in the form of a large-scale, animated light sculpture permanently affixed to a southeast wall of the Phoenix Art Museum. The creation of British artist Julian Opie, the large-scale (13.5 feet high, 10 feet wide) work is one of the most clever pieces of public art we've ever seen — beautiful in its simplicity, belying the tremendous work that went into its creation. Opie, whose work is also included in the permanent collection of the Tate Gallery in London, videotapes various people (including himself) walking on treadmills, then simplifies still images on the computer and animates them for LED displays. We don't understand just exactly how it works, but we know one thing: We could watch Julian and Suzanne all day.