Sunday, September 20, 2009

nitebird art
saturday began for me with my usual visit to jen’s place. she offered on the rocks dedicated to her father and also mentioned that she has been ‘reallowed’ to offer her parody nightpenguins. apparently cafepress, through which she sells her penguintoons as posters, etc., had briefly concluded that she was actually selling edward hopper’s nighthawks. this sent me on a day reminding myself about hopper and the work and today you see the results on rosh hashannah which begins the jewish new year 5770.
i first discovered edward hopper during the early 1970's while living in new york and new jersey. i think i most hooked on to the sparse, big city and east cost reality including people who retained the precious anonymity i felt when i was there. neither i, nor they, needed to tell the story - or be judged for it - unless we felt like it. later i learned more officially about about the artist.
chicago art institute, which houses nighthawks, describes hopper somewhat succinctly:

‘although trained as an illustrator, Edward Hopper spent five years studying painting under Robert Henri, a member of the Ashcan School of painters who focused on the gritty realities of the city. The Ashcan School influenced hopper’s style, though he tended to depict not the chaos of urban living but the sense of urban isolation.‘

'Edward Hopper (1882–1967), creator of art that novelist John Updike described as "calm, silent, stoic, luminous, and classic," is one of the most enduring and popular American painters of the 20th century. His paintings have been celebrated as a part of the very grain and texture of the American experience.’

nighthawks has been described as iconic and one of the most recognized american art works. it’s the cover art on my most recent american painting survey find. it also appears to be the most ‘covered’ image in art since the mona lisa. check out wikipedia and nighthawks revisiting and revisited.
one way or another nighthawks took over an even more special section in my when i found out something new in the immediate post 9/11 days. hopper painted nighthawks in 1942, the year of my birth and the year after the japanese pearl harbor bombing. apparently hopper began the painting immediately after the attack. it symbolized a generally dazed american public and perhaps the thought of an attack even on new york. i sent out an email to whomever which is now lost so today i’m happy to try the blog way of keeping my discovery around.
p.s. that's van gogh's night cafe trying to take over the art spaces at the top; sorry the real nighthawks is so small.

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Blogger larenamorales5671 said...

hey you, i like your hopper guy, dad just i tell you that, ok...

9/23/09, 9:04 PM  

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