Title: Cuteness and Loneliness
Life is full emotions like happiness and sadness. People sometimes feel happy, joyful, and cheerful, but sometimes sadness or depression. Edward Hopper and Takashi Nakamura draw their paintings to express different feelings. In Edward Hopper’s painting “Morning Sun” (1952), he displays the image of a woman looking outside alone in order to symbolize the woman’s feelings about “depression,” but also how she still has “hope” for her own life. On the other hand, in Takashi Nakamura’ painting “Kaikaikiki New” (2009), he displays the image of many cartoon-like characters in order to symbolize feelings of “happiness” Therefore, the two artists express opposing feelings in their works. In Edward Hopper’s painting, he mainly expresses the reality of daily life and the feeling of “depression” and “hope,” while Takashi Murakami draws the unreality to show the feeling of “Happiness” and “Cuteness.” In Edward Hopper’s early career, he was trained as an illustrator for advertisement. However, he was a artist who was influenced by the realistic artist movement in the early twentieth century. He studied painting under Robert Henri, who was a member of a group of painters called the Ashcan School. Then his style of painting was changed, so “a feeling of loneliness and detachment pervaded Hopper’s works in the second half of his career” (Turner, 752). He started to paint the commonplaces of urban life with anonymous figures. However, most of his oil and watercolor paintings are neither crowded nor lively urban scenes. Rather, his art work captures the calm and solitary scene in urban areas. In his paintings, even though he paints urban scenes, dark places in a town or a single person in a plain bedroom dominate most of his paintings. This isolation of his subjects “was heightened by Hopper's characteristic use of light to insulate persons and objects in space” (“Synopsis”). Hopper then, paints a diffent kind of urban scene, which usually suggests a livelier environment and solitude theme of his work, leading to the feeling of loneliness for most viewers. Takashi Murakami is a Japanese artist, and most his works are painted in cartoon-like figures and nonrealistic paintings. When he was young, he grew up with traditional Japanese painting, like Nihonga. However, He was particularly interested in Japanese animation and comics. Also, his father worked at an American naval base, and was influenced by the combination of Japanese culture and Western society So, Japanese popular culture informed his outlook, but he also felt the impact of Western society, particularly the popular culture of the United States. According to Howe Jeff, Takashi Murakami wanted to create “the universality of characters such as Mickey Mouse, Sonic the Hedgehog, Doraemon, Miffy, Hello Kitty, and their knock-offs, produced in Hong Kong” (Howe). So, he painted cartoon-like figure characters in most of his work because he believed that there are “secret of market survivability” in the U.S. culture (Takashi) . Even though he studied Nihonga, which is traditional Japanese art, when he was young, he “combines Japanese anime and manga images, high fashion, and Nihon-ga (Japanese-style) paintings of the nineteenth” (208). Therefore, Murakami is often classified as a pop artist. He is inspired by popular culture, choosing subjects from such sources as cartoons, so his art become cute, and most people in Eastern and Western societies accept his work widely. In Edward Hopper’s image of “Morning Sun,” I see the “sad” and “loneliness” feeling in his work. But, at same time, I see the “hope” in this image. He symbolizes the “depression” and “hope” by placing a woman alone in a room. Hopper draws a solitary figure, looking straight towards the outside the window in the image. She is sitting on the bed, and no other people are around her. Her eyes droop down, and she looks sad. This causes any observer to feel that she is alone in this room and cannot...
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