My tribute version

Painted in NYC in 1942, by Edward Hopper, the year after Pearl Harbor.

At the intersection of Greenwich Avenue and Seventh Avenue South, 1926.
Preliminary sketch
From Google Earth

Not absolute proof, but it fits the composition.

A lot of critics have written about Nighthawks, many have mention that it is the most recognized American painting of the last century. But why? It’s probably not because of what is there, it’s what is not there!

It’s a long rectangle that seems too long, in fact, most people only see a cropped version, because the editors of newspapers, magazine, television, are uncomfortable with the real proportions. The painting is complete, there is stuff going on, but the sense of meaningless emptiness is disconcerting, hence the crop. And the crop is usually around the three people, why include the fourth person? His back is to us, there’s no need to give him space. Why include the sidewalk, no one is walking there.

Hopper’s intention was to paint the loneliness of the big city, eyes that don’t meet, and hands that don’t touch.

In my tribute version I wanted to focus on the light reaching out to the sidewalk and to the buildings across the street. The diner was acting like a lighthouse, to bring safety and direction to ships in the night, like birds in flight, like nighthawks.

Original version…

Even this wiki version is cropped on both ends.

About johndiestler

Retired community college professor of graphic design, multimedia and photography, and chair of the fine arts and media department.
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