I’ve always loved and admired Edward Hopper’s paintings. His realist vision of the American way is appealing. Yet I detect so much emptiness and detachment in his work. Estrangement and lost love/friendship jumps toward the viewer.
One of my favorite examples is “Nighthawks” (1942). Work that not only inspired Gottfried Helnwein and his “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (1984) figuring Bogart, Monroe and James Dean, but is also used in the movie “End Of Violence” (1997) by Wim Wenders.
A man and a woman sitting at a bar but is there any relation between them? It seems obvious as they are sitting next to one another. For the viewer though nothing indicates they know each other. This should not come as a surprise. So many couples live an empty life together. Love and maybe even friendship, long evaporated. Still together because it is their best and only viable option.
There is this other man sitting at the bar, opposite to the couple. Head down. Is he her lover? Was she once important in his life?
The bartender seems busy doing something indistinct and I have the impression he is not that important in this setting. It is much more about the triangle couple <> lonely man.
Photographer Richard Tuschman is clearly inspired by Edward Hoppers work and his images are strong, showing the same solitude, desolateness and emptiness one can find in Hopper’s paintings.