There is no doubt that Hollywood dominates the global film industry. Occasionally, popular films from other countries gain international notoriety like the French film Amélie or the Swedish film Let the Right One In, but those are rare instances.
While the United States dominates the film industry, the rest of the world, mainly Europe, dominates in art. The U.S. does have renowned artists but not as renowned as Europe. Even as an American, I find it difficult to name fellow artistic countrymen, but I can easily rattle off several European artists.
Edward Hopper, painter of the Nighthawks, is a celebrated American painter, but his international repute is an iota of that of contemporary Spanish painter Picasso. The difference between the two does not lie in the quality of their work or the prevalence of their paintings. If anything, paintings by Hopper are more recognizable by the mainstream public.
His have been a beacon of inspiration for several famous Hollywood directors and other pop culture outlets. Adaptations ofNighthawks have been featured in films like Scarface and Blade Runner and shows like The Simpsons and CSI, as well as in literature and music. Also, Alfred Hitchcock modeled the Bates house in Psycho after Edward Hopper’s The House by the Railroad. But while many easily recognize Hitchcock, Norman Bates, Nighthawks, the name Edward Hopper is simply another name.
In an effort to reinvigorate public attention towards American art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is holding an exhibition centered on American artists. American Modern will run until January 26, 2014, so there is more than enough time to enjoy the works of Hopper and fellow Americans. If not, check out Parkstone International’s Hopper title.