A Little Modeling and a Little Hopper

Hi friends! Did you all have a good week? I am finally back to work after the holiday break, and it feels good. But art modeling tends to trickle back in spurts after these recesses, so January will still be a relatively slow work month. After all these years I’ve learned and become accustomed to the erratic pattern of this business. March and April will be very busy. May can go either way. Then another brief break, and then summer sessions, etc, etc. The joys of freelance employment, right?

This new year has brought me to a wonderful art school founded by Robert Zeller, an MFA graduate of the New York Academy of Art. Rob has established The Teaching Studios of Art, which has two locations – one in Brooklyn and one in Oyster Bay, Long Island. I modeled at the Oyster Bay location yesterday for an intensive figure class and it was terrific. The students were great and Rob is an amazing teacher. I’m delighted to be working there now and happy to count The Teaching Studios among my places of employment.

I also to want to mention that the Whitney Museum here in New York is currently showing an exhibit of the American painter Edward Hopper. It’s called “Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time”. Hopper is one of those artists that people have either hot or cold feelings toward. Some people like him, and I am one of those people. I’ve always been a fan. Others, like my mother, claim that Hopper does nothing for them. But Mom is still open-minded enough to agree to see the Hopper exhibit with me. The show runs through April 10th, so I have plenty of time to drag her over there. I’ll butter her up a little bit and treat her to lunch beforehand 🙂

Here’s some Hopper for the day. This is Hotel by a Railroad, from 1952:

9 thoughts on “A Little Modeling and a Little Hopper

  1. Bruce says:

    I love Hopper, too. Love that light and the alienation. Great stuff

    • artmodel says:

      Bruce,

      Great minds think alike 🙂 You nailed it with “alienation”. Perhaps that’s why we relate to Hopper!

      Thanks for commenting.

      Claudia

  2. Fred says:

    Edward Hopper’s human figures are sometimes a bit stiff or awkward, and always viewed with a kind of distance. His sense of light and space is his great strength. When I’m wandering the city in a lonely mood, the world looks to me like a Hopper painting. His purest essence reveals itself in his most minimalist paintings, like one of sunlight on the wall of an empty room.

    • artmodel says:

      Fred,

      I totally agree about Hopper’s figures. I would never describe his work as “sensual” or anything like that. But the minimalism you mention is the key I think. The problem with a lot of minimalist work is that it’s often cold and detached, but Hopper somehow manages to evoke certain introspective or existential feelings in the viewer – the loneliness you described or the alienation Bruce mentioned. And of course there’s the magnificent light.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Claudia

  3. daverudin1 says:

    Edward Hopper has been one of my favorite artists for quite some time. In some ways I think of him as an American Vermeer, as many of his works include open doors or windows with light pouring in, as many of Vermeers works seem to do.

    Yes, his characters do seem to be rather isolated, don’t they?

    BTW, I happened to see a spot on PBS tonight promoting an exhibition of works by Hopper and other artists of his generation at the Whitney Museum through April. I haven’t been to the Whitney in ages, so maybe I’ll go for this.

    • artmodel says:

      Dave,

      “American Vermeer” is interesting! I’m sure Hopper would have been thrilled with that analogy.

      I discussed the Hopper exhibit at the Whitney in this post. The links are above, so check it out.

      Thanks for your comments!

      Claudia

      • daverudin1 says:

        Yes, I see now that you did write about the Whitney show – rather prominently! (Feels like an idiot now….) Have you seen the show yet?

        I’m glad that I was finally able to see Hopper’s most famous (I would think) painting, “Nighthawks,” last year at the Art Institute in Chicago, – and not the version with Marilyn, Dean, Bogie and Elvis, but the original!!! LOL

  4. Sorry to be arriving so late here! I just wanted to add, I like Hopper a great deal and I have a couple of data points to add:

    Some critic, maybe Clement Greenberg or someone, is reported to have commented that if Hopper had been a better painter, he might have been a worse artist. I try to keep this observation close by my at all times – I am always tempted by technique, and I don’t want to confuse technique and art.

    The other is that my father is a *huge* fan of Hopper’s. He was raised in Philadelphia, and he describes Hopper as capturing a quality of silence and loneliness in mid-century America in a way nobody else ever did.

    • artmodel says:

      Daniel,

      That remark about Hopper, allegedly by Greenberg or whoever, is funny because it’s a backhanded compliment! I totally get it, though. I’m just kidding around. You pointed out the tendency of many, like yourself, to get technique-obsessed when evaluating art. But art, as we all know, is much, much more than technique.

      I like your Dad’s opinion of Hopper the best. I couldn’t agree with him more.

      Thanks Daniel!

      Claudia

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