Sherlock Series 3 image (x)
Edward Hopper, ‘Nighthawks’ (1942) (x)
This is one of the reasons I love this show so much.
So, I happened to see the original Nighthawks painting yesterday! It’s part of the collection of the Art Institute in Chicago and right now it’s featured in their exhibit called Art and Appetite. When I picked up the book that accompanied the exhibit, I was immediately arrested by another late-night alienation painting by Hopper.
I think there’s no room for interpretation here - John is intentionally posed as the Automat lady! The coffee cup, the reflection of the lights, the chair.
Here’s part of what wikipedia has to say about the painting:
One critic has observed that, in a pose typical of Hopper’s melancholic subjects, “the woman’s eyes are downcast and her thoughts turned inward.” Another critic has described her as “gazing at her coffee cup as if it were the last thing in the world she could hold on to.” In 1995, Time magazine used Automat as the cover image for a story about stress and depression in the 20th century.
…The presence of a chairback in the lower right-hand corner of the canvas suggests that the viewer is sitting at a nearby table, from which vantage-point a stranger might be able to glance, uninvited, upon the woman.
In an innovative twist, Hopper made the woman’s legs the brightest spot in the painting, thereby “turning her into an object of desire” and “making the viewer a voyeur.”
Oh I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this is Hopper— it’s blatant to my eye. I can’t say for sure who did the still photography but that’s Steve Lawes’s professional background and he speaks openly about looking to art for inspiration for both still work and cinema so yes, I’m convinced!
There’s another possibility that’s probably totally over the top for me to raise. Mark Gatiss, in his series Horror Europa profiles the horror film Profondo Rosso which quotes the Hopper painting as well. It has that touch of neon the Hopper’s missing…
Then again Hopper’s all over cinema as the wikipedia machine reminds us:
Hopper’s cinematic compositions and dramatic use of light and dark has made him a favorite among filmmakers. For example, House by the Railroad is reported to have heavily influenced the iconic house in the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. The same painting has also been cited as being an influence on the home in the Terrence Malick film Days of Heaven. German director Wim Wenders also cites Hopper influence. His 1997 film The End of Violence incorporates a tableau vivant of Nighthawks, recreated by actors. Noted surrealist horror film director Dario Argento went so far as to recreate the diner and the patrons in Nighthawks as part of a set for his 1976 film Deep Red (aka Profondo Rosso). Ridley Scott has cited the same painting as a visual inspiration for Blade Runner. To establish the lighting of scenes in the 2002 film Road to Perdition, director Sam Mendes drew from the paintings of Hopper as a source of inspiration, particularly New York Movie.
That use of light and dark is interesting as they shoot Sherlock with an Arri Alexa which is evidently quite sensitive to light colors. It is quite odd, though, to see Hopper here imho. An American realist painter? I can’t WAIT to see the scene in the show!
Can I just say once again just how impressed I am with the quantity and quality of meta generated by my little post? Amazing.
still, its horrible that movies and media in general gives you this idea that if you’re a male and you’re not attractive you can still score incredibly hot girls by being funny and “yourself” but if you’re a girl and you’re not attractive nobody’s gonna touch you forever
SOMEBODY FINALLY SAID IT
and also the “unattractive” girl usually has to get a makeover in order to get the popular guy to open his eyes and see her true beauty
someone pls date ben c and love him so much