December 4, 2008 Seth Perkins

Heroes : Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper is an American realist of the first half of the 20th Century.  You can read up on him here via Wikipedia.

I’m not sure when I got into him, but I’m glad I did.  I identify with his work in a very similar way to that of Gregory Crewdson.  There’s the evocation of loneliness, introspection, voyeurism, mystery, and character depth by depicting (in many cases) these isolated people painted in harsh contrasts framed, or often contained, by some larger construct.

To the left, I chose to paste in “Nighthawks” because it’s one of the iconic images by Hopper, and from it, one can also see similarities to the works of Lynch, Scorsese, and Crewdson reminiscent ofTaxi Driver, or below, “Summer Evening”, which feels of Twin Peaks or Blue Velvet. 

I have a fascination with night and the way light can create these pools of contrast and drama.  In nighttime, we choose what to light and therefore what to see.  We also choose what to keep concealed, what to leave for the imagination to consider and maybe even obsess over.  I think that mystery of the dark areas is a beautiful thing and that depiction of the light areas, the way we choose to throw the light, really paints the story being told.

A friend of mine gave me the quote once by Leonard Misonne “The object is nothing; the light is everything.”










I was trying to find some interesting Hopper video on YouTube.  Maybe some footage of him working, but didn’t have any luck.  This is kind of an interesting clip someone put together of his work against “Town Without Pity” by Gene Pitney.  I don’t necessarily like the idea of listening to music when looking at paintings because I think it messes with your own interpretation, however, in this case, I do think this is an interesting work worth the few minutes.  (and if you want to just watch the slide show, hit mute).


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