Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks Essay

Edward Hopper painted the famous Nighthawks in 1942 and is an oil and canvas work. This painting was based during the late 1930s or early 1940s. You can tell by the architecture of the diner, hairstyles and hats of the customers, and the sign that says five cent cigars. This particular diner was placed in lower side Manhattan on a corner of Greenwich Avenue. The painting Nighthawks was oddly placed in New York City because Manhattan is known as “the city that never sleeps. The unusual thing about this is that there is no one outside of the diner. Usually there are always people walking around Manhattan all hours of the night. That may symbolize big-city loneliness or the loneliness of the customers. With the city of New York being dark you would think that the corner diner would be welcoming, but it is not. There is no way to enter it, no door. The brightness of the artificial, florescent lights mean that the people inside are exposed and venerable to the people looking in.

The outside and inside are separated more by the presence of the light than by the actual barrier of the glass windows. Hopper leads our eyes with the shape of the diner and the shadows that consume the city streets. He has a simple technique; there is nothing too crazy about the painting, he paints directly. All the planes, angles and intersecting forms of the shadows and lighting are geometrically composed. The vibrant colors that Hopper uses, add just enough strength so that painting Nighthawks still looks quiet.

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