20080915

1B Why Hunt 'Hawks?



(If you have a friend who doesn't know or like Hopper or Nighthawks, ask them to read this entry.)

Maybe you don't like Hopper. That's OK, but you can't deny his influence on the popular culture around you. Nighthawks has been reproduced substituting movie stars, Santa and his reindeer; and even dogs playing poker (I couldn’t find an image of those, but I've seen them). His House by the Railroad was (allegedly) the inspiration for the house in Psycho--as well as Giant andAddams Family. He's inspired other artists to base work on his like Tom Waits's album (and performance) Nighthawks at the Diner, shots from Steve Martin's Pennies from Heaven and Stuart Dybek's short story "Nighthawks." He's also inspired other artists in how they see the world and create their works. Earlier Impressionist paintings' urban scenes of vibrant street life, swirling colors and thick paint he trimmed down to static folks, broad colors, and flat surfaces. It's like the difference between flowers by Louis Sullivan and his student Frank Lloyd Wright. This would lead to straight renderings of color fields, Abstract painting. Many, including John Updike and Joyce Carol Oates, have been inspired like me to write by merely musing on his paintings. Poet Laureate Mark Strand's slim book Hopper is by far the best of these.

4 comments:

Sean said...

Outstanding debut!
Ironic ain't it, tho'? A Website on isolation & detachment comes when Lehman Bros. are "detaching" from the nation.. and the economy crumbles... and my kids' colllege savings lose 30%...
Damn you, Grandfield!

The Hopper Guy said...

I thought election year might be an apt time to publish this. Think, people, think.

thundermatts said...

Finally seeing the light of day! Great job Kevin!

The Hopper Guy said...

Since this post, I have also seen Nighthawks set in a space station and reproduced in Legos. -KG