We opened the class by discussing gaze. I think this came into play later on in the class when discussing Edward Hopper’s style. In terms of painting and photography, gaze is where the subject’s eyes are looking. For example, we see reciprocal gaze when we look at the Mona Lisa. She is staring right at us as we stare at her.
While analyzing Edward Hopper’s paintings, I thought his style was pretty clear. He seemed to create a candid feeling by having his subjects’ gaze directed away from the viewer. In New York Interior, the girl in the painting has her back turned to us, so we don’t even see her face. In Night Shadows, we view a man from above as he is walking away. In East Side Interior, the woman is looking out her window. Self Portrait shows him looking slightly away from the viewer, continuing the trend. In our last class, we analyzed Hopper’s Nighthawks, and in it, none of the subjects had their gaze directed at us.
So in my opinion, Hopper’s style is clear. He liked to paint his pictures in a candid way. I think it created more realism, as it depicts his subjects in more life-like situations. It’s like we, the viewers, are getting a sneak peek into their everyday lives.