I was trying to paint a picture today, but seems the color i was using was just a pigment of my imagination...

 

By being as direct and ceremony-less as America was supposed to be, Hopper did not only document what was happening, but almost single handedly created a new form of visual narrative, the equivalent of Rembrandt, only simple, modern, less decorated , boasting an in-your-face-this-is-life style, but still.

 

 

..and as I was a yuppy marketing and advertising executive for the better part
of a decade, I am not really impressed with stories of selling your soul to the devil...

    Art & Culture / Music / Blues / Robert Johnson  
 
 

Edward Hopper - Very Voyeur

Edward hopper is America. He was also an American, but he IS America, on everything that is good in art,  and I don’t say it lightly. If norman Rockwell was what America wanted to be, hopper was America, in a very crucial point of its development as a nation, as a culture, as a landscape.

When I started the research for this article I was amazed at the variety and the magnitude of Hopper's work. We all know his famous Diner scene which is a visual cultural icon by now, and we know a couple more maybe, but to go through the extent of his life's creation is really a lesson in history, of people, of an age, of a broken dream.

 

After all, we are not French and never can be, and any attempt to be so is to deny our inheritance and to try to impose upon ourselves a character that can be nothing but a veneer upon the surface. "

 

I think I would have liked to have a glass or three with Hopper, from what I gather he was my kind of guy, simple, honest, funny, and with an eye that can detect the moving wheels of a society, and how the light from the window breaks on them, he was a documentor more than an artist, but more artist than illustrator, with the realism style being an incredibly efficient tool in connecting the two, documentary art.

Maybe I am not very human - what I wanted to do was to paint sunlight on the side of a house."

 

But isn’t all art documentary by definition? Of course it is, but the level is decided by how objective or subjective is the artist, in what is his personal fingerprint in the creation , of what is his point of view and agenda. With Hopper it is different , as the artist IS the culture and the style he is using is the direct product of his new world state of mind.

By being as direct and ceremony-less as America was supposed to be, Hopper did not only document what was happening, but almost single handedly created a new form of visual narrative, the equivalent of Rembrandt, only simple, modern, less decorated , boasting an in-your-face-this-is-life style, but still.

 

I believe that the great painters with their intellect as master have attempted to force this unwilling medium of paint and canvas into a record of their emotions."

 

Hopper did study the old masters, and visited Europe regularly, and you can see it, you can feel their whispers in his ear as he works. And this is again a great symbol of the good side of America, taking from the past, learning from the older generations, but than taking it down to the street level, making it accessible, making it understood, making it easily digested, making it American.

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life in the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world."

 

One of the painters I am sure hopper was influenced by was Hammershoi, the enigmatic Danish master of empty rooms and women staring into the nowhere, as there is a very clear correlation between the two when it comes to treatment of empty spaces, and those ever existing windows.

Another influence from the old Nordic masters was Hopper's use of light as a protagonist in the scene, playing with it like a master, softer old world for some scenes, harsh and modern for others, neon lights take the place of candle light, and the light that comes through a window of a skyscraper is not the light that comes through a cottege garden window.
It is a brave new world indeed , and he felt it.

I have tried to present my sensations in what is the most congenial and impressive form possible to me.

 
Hopper was interested in psychotherapy and other trendy ideas about the human mind, and although he denied over and over that he has put any of these symbolisms in his work intentionally, it is evident that the Freudian thought process is very much part of his mentality and his creative process.

Hopper was an American, creating American art about America for America.  And although it sounds ultra nationalistic it is not a bad thing, on the contrary, every nation should wish to have such a treasure. And I am very happy America produced such a brilliantly talented American to document herself.

 

“Well, I've always been interested in approaching a big city in a train, and I can't exactly describe the sensations, but they're entirely human and perhaps have nothing to do with aesthetics.”