Friday, December 7, 2012

Edward Hopper

self portrait (1925-1930) 
Edward Hopper (July 22, 1882 – May 15, 1967), New York City
A realist painter. He worked with oil, watercolor and even did some printmaking. Edwards paintings were sophisticated and regal, although he battled a stage of depression while defining his style, he managed to establish a signature in art among his work. Edward has stated that most of his artwork did not include a psychological meaning, rather they visualized a theme in urban American life.

Nighthawks (1942), Oil on canvas
Fascinated with the urban scene, "Nighthawks" became one of Edward's most popular pieces. This ambiguous piece influenced many imitations, films and narratives. The image provides a distant view of a diner during late hours, where a couple and a man stopped to have a cup of coffee, while having a conversation with the busboy.
  • Implied light and fluorescent colors inside the cafe
  • Dull, musky use of colors depicted outside 
  • Main hint of bright color is the red on the woman's dress
Judging on their appearance the costumers and the busboy are from a contrasting social class. It seems like they are intrigued with what he has to say since they live such opposing lifestyles. The term "Nighthawk" is used to define the nocturnal state in the setting. According to Hopper, he wanted to capture the loneliness in the city during this time of the day, where the only form of life is found inside a place that may appear bland on the outside. Remains to be one of the most ambiguous paintings in Hopper's career.

Imitations of Nighthawks:

New York Movie (1939), Oil on canvas
Edward was a regular theater fan, with this he commonly incorporates the setting of a theater into his artwork. The left side of the image is a view of an empty theater where one gentleman is seated. On the right side there is a blonde woman with her hand place under her chin.
  • Implied emotion
  • Implied light and balance
  • Contrasting arrangement of colors on each side
The woman is in a melancholy state. Her facial emotion is dreary and her body language displays discomfort. Once again light is shed on the place of significance to provide a better view of her face. Basing of her posture, she is rather displeased by something that occurred, This caused her to fall into a mental state of isolation. I speculated that the woman is upset with the man in the seat.

Room In New York (1932), Oil on canvas
In this warm yellow room there are two individuals that appear to be a couple. He is deeply into the newspaper, while she is leaning on the piano with one finger on the key. The individuals are not making any form of contact. 
  • Blurred Faces
  • Vibe is exemplified in the body language
  • Her posture is saddening
  • Light is implied on her body
  • He is not providing her with attention or affection (she even dressed up) 
It seems that the two people are not content with one another because their relationship lacks communication.  Edward who grew up in New York was trying to convey the role that typical New Yorkers play. New Yorkers are classified as busy and  working people who may be guilty of neglecting important aspects of our lives that we may be unaware of.

Overall Edward Hopper seems to vividly convey his perspectives through body language, he also utilizes the theory of colors. Edward's art is related with the distinctive representations of American life. His style is mainly recognized for his portrayals of loneliness and isolation, yet he emphasized the way humans react with their surroundings.

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