Julian Opie’s work is focused on the essence of realism. The artist eliminates anything that might interfere with the reception of his works. The modification and simplification of reality employed enables him to achieve strong, expressive images. Initially, Opie limited himself to outline forms; in due course, he introduced chiaroscuro. The eponymous Elena is the artist’s daughter, whom he has portrayed many times using a variety of media, from mosaic to computer animation. Opie’s minimisation of painterly devices results in works that are more expressive than traditional, realistic portraits.