Untitled (Stump Fire #4)
For Socrates Sculpture Park’s Broadway Billboard, Opie has created a mise-en-scene of epic scope, drama, and mystery. Nature and artifice, light and darkness are just some of the contradictory elements of Opie’s image that create an ominous tableau for us to contemplate. Neither a warm hearth, nor regenerative forest fire, we discover it is liquid, not wood, which is ablaze. The log stumps in the foreground are Opie’s own handmade clay sculptures, which further heightens the surrealism of the scene. The image hovers between an apocalyptic figment of our imaginings and the possibility of nature run amok. What is clear, however, is that all is not well within our environment or psyche.