Edward Hopper and the Imperfect Future

In “Closed,” artist Andy Leipzig takes Edward Hopper’s iconic “Nighthawks” painting from 1942 and bathes it in the reality of post-recession America. Gone are the nighthawks themselves — the solitary man with his back to the window, the man and woman sitting side by side, and the busy soda jerk behind the counter — and in their place an empty restaurant with a spiderweb crack in the corner of the glass. In the backdrop, a sex shop is closed for the night and a homeless man has set up camp on the stoop.

Just as Hopper’s scene resonated with the men and women of a simpler time in America’s history, Leipzig’s remix could be set anywhere in the country at this moment. The neighborhood is representative of so many that have come and gone — places that were once sound but now teeter on the brink of either obsolescence or the early stages of gentrification.

(Painting: Andy Leipzig; click to enlarge. Caption: Closed, After Hopper’s Nighthawks.)