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EDWARD HOPPER AND HORROR

07/24/2022, 9:15 AM
EDWARD HOPPER AND HORROR
Edward Hopper was born on July 22, 1882, and was destined to live a long and fruitful life, see a lot and depict it in his paintings. 

Some say that he glorified American landscapes. Indeed, that’s what one can observe from his works. There we see typical American cityscapes and genre scenes. Here are traditional houses, and here is a cafe with ordinary visitors, and there is a beach, trees, and bright light. But these paintings, by far, do not evoke the feeling of comfort usual for this genre. You definitely do not want to be inside them. In these works, you can read loneliness and restlessness. They evoke a feeling of anxiety. It seems that in the next moment – only the film frame changes – something inevitable must happen. The merciless light, as if from the soffits, suggests that Hopper’s paintings are scenes from a horror movie, when nothing portends disaster, but disturbing music is already rolling. However, the music can also be disconcertingly calm. For example, the one composed by Angelo Badalamenti for the TV series Twin Peaks.
 

In some of Hopper’s works, horror seems to lurk somewhere very close. Cinematography with a plot in the style of horror, ready to unfold as rapidly as a compressed spring shoots, is especially noticeable in his work Soir bleu. In a coastal cafe, people are sitting at the tables, relaxing and spending a warm evening. But there is a clown sitting at one of the tables. It seems that in a moment the clown will get his weapon and the blue evening will turn crimson. But there is a nuance. This picture was painted in 1914, when such a development had not yet become a movie cliché. Were Hollywood masters inspired by the paintings of a famous painter?


Hopper’s work had a distinctly seasonal character. He painted one picture in the spring and one in autumn. It makes just two paintings a year. Perhaps the artist was inspired by the birth and fading of nature.

Edward Hopper was irritated when he heard that he was called the master of the American landscape, and strongly denied it, instead saying that he was not painting America, but himself. And we still wonder what demons slumbered in the soul of an outstanding artist?