„Nighthawks“ by Edward Hopper - Referat
The realist painting with the title "Nighthawks " was published and painted by Edward Hopper in the year 1942. The artist living from 1882 to 1967 had an exceptional view on the interaction between human beings and their environment and focuses on topics like solitude, loneliness and resignation.
The painting shows a frame of an American town at night. In the middle and the right half of the picture you can see a bar called Phillies. It seems like a clean looking pub preserved for the upper class that fits in the 1940s of America. Around the bar, you can see empty streets and two stores in the background. In contrast to the dark outside the interior is bright and has warm colors.
There are four people inside the display window looking bar. The person on the right, wearing a white shirt is the bartender. He is standing at the counter, torn away from the customers, mixing a drink. All of the customers are wearing chic clothes, the two men a suit, the woman a pinkish robe. The woman is sitting next to one of the men, the other one is sitting some seats away alone.
The painting radiates a cold and lonely atmosphere even though the bar is bright and has warm colors and the people are not alone. This is intensified by the empty streets around the bar and the night where the scene takes place. Usually, saloons are full of people and an observer can see that those people are having fun. In this case, the couple is sitting next to each other, not talking and the other man is probably staring at his drink. This is an indication of the loneliness people in America's society normally face. The people's rather chic clothes reflect that they live an upper-class lifestyle, which can be related to the solitude that arises from possessing a significant amount of money.
In connection with the title "Nighthawks ", you can interpret that the nighthawks are the people who are awake during the night and spend their time in a bar, wanting to be alone. The title is building up a lot of tension because you do not know what to expect from it. A more suitable expression would have been "night owls " which the artist purposely did not use. Because of the big windows, it seems like the people are in a cage and the observer is someone who watches the (normally) wild animals.
In conclusion, you can say that the problem the American society had in the 1940s maintains in our modern community. Then it came because of their work and now people stay at home and interact on social media and their phones. Even though they are more connected than ever but alone anyways. If it was a picture that depicted our society, the people would all have their phones in their hands. Edward Hopper criticizes the society with his painting. Even though it is more than 70 years old it still depicts current obstacles our society faces.
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