If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint. - Edward Hopper
Hopper, an American painter, is most well known for his collection of oils. His early career found him creating posters and running publicity for a movie company, and although the work was not his preference, it did support his love of the cinema. Later on, this influence of movie making can be seen in the composition of his works. With his use of light, angles and subjects, each piece could be seen as a clip of a larger scene, a moment of a longer story.
Here are a few pieces (among many) that whisper the cinematic qualities found in Hopper's art.
Night Shadows, Etching, 1921
Like many of Hopper's pieces, this etching depicts a deserted street with a lonely subject. The view somewhat mirrors an establishing shot, bracing for a moment of action.
House by the Railroad, Oil, 1925
This lonely mansion is rumored to have been Hitchcock's inspiration for the Bate's Hotel in Psyco. The still shadows and gray pallet plays perfectly with the makings of a horror film. Even the way the railroad cuts through the bottom of the composition sets a certain mood that is far from inviting.
New York Movie, Oil, 1939
In New York Movie, we are given different views of an audience; there are the movie goers, focused on the screen before them, and there their is the viewer, us, focused on the woman in the corner, who seems to be caught in her own invisible images; an untold story in her mind.
Nighthawks, Oil, 1942
In this most famous and recognizable work of Hopper, we find a quiet moment, with subjects, while close in proximity, seem distant from each other. Although the diner is clearly in the city, the streets are empty and silent, portraying the loneliness that exists in a normally bustling scene.