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Coverdown: Freewheelin 227 / Freewheelin-on-line take 29
 

freewheelin-on-line take 29 cover

 

The theme for this month's Freewheelin cover is taken from  ‘Nighthawks’, a painting completed in 1942 by the American realist artist Edward Hopper (1882 -1967). When commenting on this painting for the Sunday Times earlier this year the journalist A.A. Gill wrote as follows: 

‘Nighthawks’, Edward Hopper’s picture of an all night New York diner, is one of the most famous and familiar images of the 20th Century. One of the scant handful of museum pictures that have made it over the gallery wall, escaped the frame and become part of the popular visual vernacular, along with Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’ and Munch’s ‘The Scream’. ‘Nighthawks’ has been plagiarized, parodied, lampooned, collaged and cartooned. Ask the internet what it knows about ‘Nighthawks’ and you’ll get 110,000 sites.” 

Into my plagiarized parody of one of the most famous and familiar images of the 20th Century has sauntered another visual vernacular of the period namely Bob Dylan. He sits at the bar of the diner and becomes a nighthawk himself, lost in thought as the waiter asks for his order. 

Above this New York scene are two more nighthawks. Young Bobby gazes down and forms an almost perfect triangle between him, the waiter and Dylan. Suze stares at the future Bobby, she is not sure that she likes what she sees and she just wishes that today could be an endless highway. But it can’t of course. 

Hopper painted many more of these realist images of American life and these paintings are on display at an exhibition of his work at Tate Modern which runs until mid September. In the meantime, what do you think Dylan’s order to the waiter will be?  Some suzette perhaps (“Could you please make that crepe?”).

 

Theo Casamegas

 
 
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