On Togetherness and Solitude

written by Tomislav Pavelić


The painting Nighthawks by Edward Hopper captures the interior of a bar through the window, seen from the street. The scene is a night one; the street is without passers-by; three customers are seated at the counter. At the end of the counter are a man and woman, one next to the other (we can see them in frontal three-quarter view); they are silent; he looks towards the waiter (or into nothing?), she looks at the cigarette in her hand. The other man is alone (we see him in rear three-quarter view); he looks into his glass; he is most probably also silent. The only active participant in the scene is, by the nature of things, the waiter who is doing some work mechanically behind the counter; he is looking straight ahead, at the street (or into nothing?). There is no visible communication; the scene is burdened with silence.