Early Sunday Morning Coming Down

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I have long been a fan of Edward Hopper’s art. My favorite work of his is Early Sunday Morning from 1930. I first saw this piece at the Whitney Museum in NYC, and it was the first Hopper I ever hung on a wall (sadly I lost it in my divorce!). This art has long evoked images for me, which I can sum up with two pieces of mixed media: one movie clip and one song.

Scott Joplin’s Solace from The Sting. The Sting won the Academy Award for best motion picture in 1973. It’s a great movie. Great story, great acting, great setting in 1930s Chicago. My favorite scene occurs near the end of the movie, early in the morning of the day of the climactic scene. The mellow rag, Solace, plays as the main characters prepare themselves for the biggest performance of their lives. The mood set by this song, in this setting, reminds me so much of a Hopper painting that it’s scary. The calm before the storm. See for yourself.

Johnny Cash’s Sunday Morning Coming Down. Johnny Cash is America’s greatest musical storyteller. His songs paint pictures with words like nobody else’s. In Sunday  Morning Coming Down, a hungover Cash struggles to get himself ready to face the day. When he sings about “a Sunday Morning sidewalk … a sleeping city sidewalk,” I can picture Johnny Cash walking into the Hopper painting. Listen for yourself.

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