Last Train Home

Can a painter influence a photographer?

Yes, indeed. ūüôā I’d like to introduce you to someone who is influencing my photography.

Edward Hopper was an American realist painter and printmaker. While he is widely known for his oil paintings, he was equally proficient as a watercolorist and printmaker in etching. Both in his urban and rural scenes, his spare and finely calculated renderings reflected his personal vision of modern American life. Wikipedia

The best known of Hopper’s paintings,¬†Nighthawks¬†(1942), is one of his paintings of groups. It shows customers sitting at the counter of an all-night¬†diner. The shapes and diagonals are carefully constructed. The viewpoint is cinematic‚ÄĒfrom the sidewalk, as if the viewer were approaching the restaurant. The diner’s harsh electric light sets it apart from the dark night outside, enhancing the mood and subtle emotion. As in many Hopper paintings, the interaction is minimal. The restaurant depicted was inspired by one in Greenwich Village. Both Hopper and his wife posed for the figures, and Jo Hopper gave the painting its title. The inspiration for the picture may have come from¬†Ernest Hemingway‘s short story “The Killers“, which Hopper greatly admired,[86]¬†or from the more philosophical “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place“.[87]¬†The mood of the painting has sometimes been interpreted as an expression of wartime anxiety. In keeping with the title of his painting, Hopper later said,¬†Nighthawks¬†has more to do with the possibility of predators in the night than with loneliness.

In focusing primarily on quiet moments, very rarely showing action, Hopper employed a form of realism adopted by another leading American realist,¬†Andrew Wyeth, but Hopper’s technique was completely different from Wyeth’s hyper-detailed style. In league with some of his contemporaries, Hopper shared his urban sensibility with¬†John Sloan¬†and¬†George Bellows, but avoided their overt action and violence. Where¬†Joseph Stella¬†and¬†Georgia O’Keeffe¬†glamorized the monumental structures of the city, Hopper reduced them to everyday geometrics and he depicted the pulse of the city as desolate and dangerous rather than “elegant or seductive”.

Who influences your art? Let us know. Thank you. ūüôŹ



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s