“It’s (the lack of communication between the people in his paintings) probably a reflection of my own, if I may say, loneliness. I don’t know. It could be the whole human condition.”
“Hopper is simply a bad painter, but if he were a better one, he would probably not be such a great artist.” — Clement Greenberg
What I love so much about Edward Hopper’s art isn’t necessarily the aesthetic, but the feeling it evokes when looking at it. A woman sitting in a cafe, a group of people lingering in a bar when everyone already left. People gazing into the distance. It just really captures how many people felt during industrialization, the time Edward Hopper grew up, when people started to leave the countryside and moved to the big cities. All of the sudden, you didn’t know your neighbor, you were one of many. A small unimportant part of a big mass. Anonymous, no individuality. When I look at his paintings, I feel an eerie uneasiness. Garish lighting, empty walls, people being all on their own, no connection to others (because in his paintings, even if there is more than one person, they still don’t look or touch each other in any way.) I just really feel the loneliness, the desolation, the emotional emptiness. And this is just how I feel sometimes, how we all feel sometimes, how people during the Great Depression felt, how he felt. And even though Hopper might seem like a mute witness - he wasn’t, because his art spoke for him. He gives us a glimpse in his inner self and those of many other people at that time. He points out the vulneribality, the fragility we all are cursed with, he was showing us what everyone blatantly ignored, what no one wanted to talk about. And what makes Edward Hopper such a great artist might not be techniques, or how he paints, but what he paints. And evoking such emotions in such a subtle and mysterious way is something that not many painters can do - but a true artist can.