My favorite painter is Edward Hopper, and I have this picture, which a very dear friend gave me for Christmas. I look at it every day, and every day I see something different in the painting. Edward Hopper loved geometrical design, and he often worked on several sketches of a painting to get the geometry of it just right before he completed the finished painting. He would often do as many as 40 or 50 sketches before he was satisified with the composition. The thing that appeals to me about Edward Hopper's paintings is the use of light and shadow. It fits in very much with the geometry of his paintings, and creates a very strong mood. However, Hopper insisted “I was more interested in the sunlight on the buildings and on the figures than any symbolism."
Yesterday one of our blogging friends posted a comment that reminded me of how similar Hopper's paintings are to one of our local photographers, Fred Herzog. The geometrical lines are similar; the light and shadow, mood, subject matter and colors are all very similar. Fred Herzog is an acclaimed photographer and his photographs have been exhibited in art galleries all over the world, and featured here in the New Yorker Magazine. Herzog gave a lecture at the University of British Columbia recently, and he said, “The picture has to be in your head, not in your camera bag.” I often think about that when I see people PhotoShopping their photographs. In my opinion, those pictures are no longer photographs. Herzog also says, “To me, the city is a stage and the people on the streets are all actors. We need to record how people look in their natural state…it’s the reality of how we look.” I think Hopper and Herzog had very much the same philosophy.
Here are some more examples of the similarities between the two artists, one a photographer, the other a painter, both of whom are wonderful. I hope you enjoy their work as much as I do. I haven't given any of them labels, so perhaps (without clicking on them) you can guess which are the paintings and which are the photographs. One of them in particular might surprise you.