Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks (1942) doesn’t just evoke a certain stripe of mid-century, after-hours, big-city American loneliness; it has more or less come to stand for the feeling itself. But as with most images that passed so fully into the realm of iconhood, we all too easily forget that the painting didn’t simply emerge complete, ready to embed itself in the zeitgeist. Robin Cembalest at ARTnews has a post on how Edward Hopper “storyboarded” Nighthawks, finding and sketching out models for those three melancholic customers (one of whom you can see in an early rendering above), that wholesome young attendant in white, and the all-night diner (which you can see come together in chalk on paper below) in which they find refuge.
These “19 studies for Nighthawks,” writes Cembalest, “reveal how Hopper choreographed his voyeuristic scene of the nighttime convergence of the man, a couple, and a server in the eerie Deco diner, refining every nuance of the countertop, the figures, the architecture, and the effects of the fluorescent lighting.” In each sketch, more pieces have fallen into place: a diner assumes their position, the light finds its angle, the perspective shifts to that of an outsider on the darkened street. Cembalest quotes Whitney curator Carter Foster describing the final product as a “marvelous demonstration of both extreme specificity and near abstract compositional summation on the same surface beguilingly [which] reflects how empirical observation and imagination coexisted in Hopper’s head.”
Despite how many elements of the real world Hopper studied to create Nighthawks, it ultimately depicts no real place. The painter himself posed for the male figures, and his wife modeled for the female. As for the locale, seen in the final drawing just above, Cembalest notes that “after years of research and scholarship, experts have determined that Nighthawks was not inspired by one specific diner. Rather, it was a composite of wedge-shaped intersections around Greenwich Avenue. Its curving prow seems partly inspired by the Flatiron Building.” In a way, it almost seemed too realistically New York to actually exist in New York. Hopper painted a distillation of a sense of American place, and like many American places, I’ve never quite known whether I’d love to drop in at the Nighthawks diner (though I’d have to find a front door first), or whether I should count myself lucky that life hasn’t relegated me to it. You can learn more about the fascinating storyboarding of Nighthawks at Art News and see many more sketches. Speaking of the sketches, they come courtesy of The Whitney Museum of American Art.
Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.
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Sometimes panoramas just don’t work. A shaky hand or moving object can really mess things up, but sometimes, accidents can lead to funny outcomes and everybody wins! Over the last year I’ve noticed a lot of funny panoramas on reddit and decided to compile the best ones into a single post. Enjoy!
The ice bucket challenge is pretty played out. So why post this photo? Quite simply because I can find scant little information about this curious Beatles pic. One Beatles blog dates the picture back to 1965. After that, bupkis. No information. So, for once, I’m throwing up my hands and asking for a little help from our friends. Somewhere out there, an ardent Beatles fan knows the story, and we’re hoping that you can give us the lowdown, either by email, or in the comments section below. We thank you in advance…
Update: We got an email from a former radio exec who offers more details. Jon tells us: “These shots were done in the Bahamas back in 1965 while the Beatles traveled the world to film their second movie Help! This sequence most likely came as a result of set close up shots that director Richard Lester needed of each Beatle during a pool sequence since John is wearing that same shirt during several of those water sequences shot in the Bahamas. Ringo has always said it was cold during the shoot as they filmed it during a cooler time (Jan.?) that year. That would explain John’s look after being doused.” And there you have it!
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This. Is. BAYHEM!
When Michael Bay directs animated gifs, explosions happen. Lots of them. A recent reddit post by jerip123 entitled, Unecessary Explosions unearthed a subreddit called /r/michaelbaygifs, described as ‘gifs, Michael Bay style’.
I’ve also embedded an excellent video by Tony Zhou that explores ‘Bayhem‘ — his style of camera movement, composition and editing that creates something overblown, dynamic and distinct. It’s worth a watch if you’re into film.
Alice Duke (UK) - Making Ghosts, 2009 Drawings: Pencils, +PS
Illustrations by Facey Artist
Thank you for submitting and for give me the liberty to make this photoset!
The Wizard of Oz by Lorena Alvarez Gómez (Part I)
I didn’t really appreciate what a huge impact Robin Williams had on my youth until he was gone. Growing up in the early 90s meant I was caught in the middle of Williams’ family-friendly hit streak. Hook, Jumanji, Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire were huge movies for me. I watched them all many times over, especially Aladdin. Like thousands of other fans, it’s been a joy to relive the memories of my youth by watching all of my favourite Williams movies over the past two weeks.
There are so many great obituaries and tributes online at the moment, but in my opinion, if you want to get a real glimpse of what Williams was like, I recommend you listen to his WTF Podcast interview with Marc Maron from 2010. It’s an extremely honest and interesting conversation, and you can tell Williams is just being himself (very quiet and soft-spoken) and isn’t trying to be ‘on’.
I had no idea how to approach doing a comic about Williams until I read that he was a huge video game fan. In fact, he was so obsessed with the original Nintendo system and games that he named his daughter Zelda. Here’s a TV ad Williams and his daughter appeared in to promote Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo DS. Over 100,000 people have signed a petition asking Nintendo to name a character in the upcoming Zelda game after Williams. Here’s hoping they will. And in case they don’t, I’ve decided to pay my own 8-bit tribute to the great man.
- Although this version of the quote is the most popular, I found a clip of Williams saying it with a slightly different wording.
– Thanks to everyone who sent in requests asking for a RW comic.
– This will be the first and last time I use a pixel art style for a comic. I take my hat off to those artists who illustrate in this style. It’s freakin’ hard!
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I was not sure of the pic I was going to post this morning, until Mr.Facebook told me it is my loooooooooved Fraulein Katzentanz’s birthday today!!! So, in less than 7 days, welcome to a new chapter of BIRTHLYWOOD.
If you usually read my blog, it’s well know by all of you the devotion I feel for this lady… and I have very very very cool pics of her waiting to be published. If you haven’t seen them yet, it is only because I am being paaaatient, waaaaaaaaiting for the cat lady to do it, because what we did is simply EPIC. In my humble opinion, of course.
Like this one… taken in Essen, in the woods, early morning, cold and rainy day… I have already told this story, so let’s go straight to the point: Joyeux anniversaire mon amour!!!
Have a very nice day and stay pure and gorgeous… and of course, I hooooooooooope nobody forgets to give you lots of (kitty) presents.
See you soon super Katzentanz, miiiiiiiiiiiss you!!!
FRAULEIN KATZENTANZ – Pic By Álex Pérez (2014)
No estaba seguro de que foto iba a publicar esta mañana, hasta que el Señor Facebook me avisó de que hoy es el cumpleaños de mi amaaaaaaaaaaaaada Fraulein Katzentanz!!! Así que, en menos de 7 días, bienvenidos a otro capítulo de BIRTHLYWOOD.
Si soléis leer mi blog, conoceréis muy bien la devoción que siento por esta dama… y tengo fotos muy muy muy guays esperando a ver la luz. Si no las habéis visto aun es porque estoy teniendo pacieeeeeeeeeeeeeencia y esperaaaaaaaando a que ellas las muestre, porque lo que hicimos es sencillamente ÉPICO. En mi humilde opinión, naturalmente.
Como ésta… tomada en Essen, en el bosque, tempranito por la mañana, día frío y lluvioso… ya he contado esta historia anteriormente, así que vayamos directos al grano: Joyeux anniversaire mon amour!!!
Disfruta de un día genial y sigue así de pura y tremenda… y naturalmente, espero que nadie se olvide de darte montones de regalos (gatunos).
Nos vemos pronto súper Katzentanz, te echo de menos!!!