Monday 13 May 2024

No Door to Enter

          In place of meaningful interactions, the four characters inside the diner of Edward Hopper's Nighthawks are involved in a series of near misses. The man and woman might be touching hands, but they aren't. The waiter and smoking man might be conversing, but they're not. The couple might strike up a conversation with the man facing them, but somehow, we know they won't. And then we realize that Hopper has placed us, the viewer, on the city street, with no door to enter the diner, and yet in a position to evaluate each of the people inside. We see the row of empty counter stools nearest us. We notice that no one is making eye contact with anyone else. Up close, the waiter's face appears to have an expression of horror or pain. And there's a chilling revelation ; each of us is completely alone in the world.

Christine Zapella

Edward Hopper

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