Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Nighthawks as Memes – Edward Hopper’s Best Renditions

Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, Art Institute of Chicago, USA
Edward Hopper, Nighthawks, 1942, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA.

WTFArtHistory

Nighthawks as Memes – Edward Hopper’s Best Renditions

Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks is one of the best known images of 20th-century art that has also become one of the most popular meme sources of the 21st century, appearing on the Internet in endless renditions.

Edward Hopper‘s melancholic paintings are an invitation to imagine. That is to say, you feel like a weird observer like in Hitchcock’s Rear Window. The scenes take place in “no places” such as this restaurant, which was inspired by “a restaurant on New York’s Greenwich Avenue where two streets meet” but at the same time it’s universal, timeless. Nothing in the image tells us to “get into” the restaurant and the human figure are four night owls lost in their thoughts.


Edward Hopper‘s images have indeed inspired movie productions and many generations of artists, but clearly Nighthawks is the one that has endured the most variations, even before internet was around. Therefore, I would like to go the other way around and pay attention to how well known fictional and real personalities invade the restaurant of Nighthawks.

Indeed, everyone can find their own favorite Nighthawks meme. What comes next is my personal selection of parodies and variations.

The Simpsons

Edward Hopper's Nighthawks renditions / memes with The Simpsons
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition/ meme with The Simpsons (Matt Groening, Fox Broadcasting Company). Pinterest.

Moe’s Bar has moved to the Nighthawks corner. 
 

Who watches the watchmen? 

Edward Hopper's Nighthawks renditions with The Watchmen; Hesstoons, Night Watchmen. Hesstoons/Deviantart. memes
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition / meme; Hesstoons, Night Watchmen. Hesstoons/Deviantart.

Dr. Manhattan serves coffee to Nite Owl, Silk Spectre and Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias. But, what happened to the Comedian?

Star Trek Nighthawks

Edward Hopper's Nighthawks rendition with Star Trek nighthawks renditions memes
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition/ meme: Rabittooth, Star Trek Nighthawks. Rabittooth/Deviantart.

Capitain Kirk and Spock left the Enterprise in this space Nighthawks version. “Live Long and Prosper.”

Banksy Nighthawks 

Banksy, Are You Using That Chair, 2005 nighthawks renditions memes
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition / meme: Banksy, Are You Using That Chair, 2005. Pinterest.

This Banksy parody shows a fat, shirtless man in British flag underpants standing outside the diner, having just smashed the window with a nearby chair. Meanwhile, inside the diner, our nighthawks remain calm.

Free-Wifi  

 Josh Ellingson, Wifi Diner, WIRED Magazine, 2003 nighthawks renditions memes
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition; Josh Ellingson, Wifi Diner, 2003, WIRED Magazine.

We feel the same loneliness as the original one, but then we have some kind of déjà vu. Does this image look familiar to you too?

Batman and Superman  

Edward Hopper's Nighthawks rendition with Batman and Superman; Ian-Navarro, World's Finest nighthawks renditions memes
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition / meme with Batman and Superman; Ian-Navarro, World’s Finest. Ian Navarro/Deviantart.

Sometime before dawn, the heroes of Gotham and Metropolis meet for coffee. Who knows which villain they just defeated?

Ghibli Nighthawks 

Edward Hopper's Nighthawks rendition with Totoro; Sybary, Ghibli NightHawks, 11 October 2012 nighthawks renditions memes
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition / meme with Totoro; Sybary, Ghibli NightHawks, 2012. Sybary/Deviantart.

If you too get emotional every time you see a Studio Ghibli’s production, you’ll find in this variation some of their most mythical characters!

No one

Dean Rohrer, Depopulated Nighthawks
Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks rendition; Dean Rohrer, Depopulated Nighthawks. Pinterest.

This one might represent the difficult times we live in: the Nighthawks in COVID-19 times. The picture translates the great city desolation, now even without his characters. Edward Hopper’s images became viral in the first weeks of the quarantine. Indeed, one might say that we were are all in Edward Hopper paintings.

The illustrator Dean Roher played with Edward Hopper’s iconic images by removing all the characters from them. Yet with that simple gesture, it becomes evident that the force of the American painter’s images resides in his empty interiors.

Tell us what is your favorite version of the Nighthawks?


Fan of Nighthawks? Have a peek into other paintings by Edward Hopper:

Cèlia is an Art Historian from Barcelona. She graduated specialized in contemporary art and finished her Research Master in Art and Design. She lived in Berlin for a year and came back to Barcelona where she worked as an Art Consultant. Her research focuses on the image, specially the post-photographic theory.

Comments

More in WTFArtHistory

  • 20th century

    Mirror Mosaics and Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

    By

    Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (1922-2019) was a contemporary, Iranian artist who became a living legend while she was still alive. Her oeuvre included multi-disciplines: drawing, painting, monotypes, textiles, collage, and large-scale sculptures. Monir is best known for her mirror mosaics; artworks that fuse Islamic geometrical design, abstraction,...

  • 20th century

    Puzzles with the Shade of Communism: 10 Great Soviet Mosaics in Russia

    By

    In the conditions of the rigid USSR system of control, impersonality of buildings was practically inevitable. However, there was one way of escape: Soviet mosaics. Here are the 10 great Soviet mosaics in Russia. In 1925, two mosaic coats of arms of the USSR appeared on...

  • 19th Century

    Art History 101: Self-Portraits You Should Know

    By

    Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Self-portraits are closely tied with the existence of mirrors. Although mirrors have existed since antiquity, during the renaissance cheaper and better mirrors made in Venice came onto the market. This was one of the reasons...

  • 20th century

    Frida Kahlo: The Suffering Behind Her Paintings

    By

    One of the most famous artists of the 20th century was Frida Kahlo. She became an international icon of our age, not only because of her paintings, but also because of her story, a story of independence, emancipation, freedom, but also of suffering. The image of...

  • 20th century

    Tōkyō Thrift – Japonisme and the Japanese Bauhaus

    By

    The historical narrative of Modernism is overwhelmingly western. However, the history of the movement is, in reality, one of constant diffusion between the East and West; between Europe and Japan. It is an area of study that has been under-explored, but in the development of the...

To Top

Just to let you know, DailyArt Magazine’s website uses cookies to personalise content and adverts, to provide social media features and to analyse traffic. Read cookies policy