Edward Hopper, Room in Brooklyn
Inkjet on watercolour paper
85 x 64 cm
There is a stillness, mystery, and a mood of melancholy in Edward Hopper's most characteristic work; the paintings seem to pose a question yet provide no answer. His pictures also evoke a very strong sense of place, a visual urban poetry that is anchored in the tangible yet possess a timelessness and otherness.
The barrenness of Hopper’s Room in Brooklyn (1932) strongly exudes these qualities although, given that it was painted during the Great Recession, the owner may not have had much choice in worldly goods. And similarly, the woman’s pensive gaze upon the world outside her window is probably a studied pose, but it can also be interpreted as an expression of existential ennui.
As with many of the early re-imaginings in this series, I had little idea of how I would handle the translation of this art work. I simply allowed it to develop, hoping a clue would present itself without having to nudge it into an unknown direction. The danger, off course, would be that this re-imagining would become a pointless exercise that would not bring any of my own ideas into the project or elucidate the best qualities of the original.
Compared side by side with the original, this re-imagination has the hard edges and crisp tonalities that computer graphics excel at, and the accentuation of the rhythms offered by repetitive elements, such as the spindles on the rocking chair and the windows of the apartments, was quite irresistible.