Hopper Life Filter

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Hopper Life Filter

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I have included this photo as it reminded me so strongly, on the night I took that photo, of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942). For some reason I have always found the colour palette and story of that particular painting to be really soothing and calming, and it has always been one of my favourite painting for that reason even though by genre and artist it falls well outside my usual area of interest. I remember reading something years ago which described the scenes depicted in Hopper’s artworks in this period as depicting liminal social spaces, characterised by public spaces designed for crowds (cafes, hotels lobbies, restaurants etc.) which are nearly empty and in between phases of activity, and this whole year has felt like one giant Hopper painting that I can’t escape from. I looked at a bunch of his paintings again whilst deciding what to say about this moment, and the painting Automat (1927) is one I have always identified with in a really positive way being both rather introverted and a ritual tea drinker. When I was looking at his paintings again and saw it however, I felt such a strange rush of both sadness and anxiety and I can’t help but feel like my enjoyment of Hopper’s paintings in this period has been ruined forever, though hopefully my feelings about the paintings will swing in the opposite direction again as I age and change myself, as great art is wont to do.

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Photo, taken by myself

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This item was submitted on June 7, 2020 by Madeleine Rowe using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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