Danger and Desire: Tales of Hopper’s City

I have been really immersed in work lately–so preoccupied that if I don’t write everything down right away, I tend to forget events and deadlines. This pertains not so much to work but for everything else. I looked at my calendar last week and knew I had an Arts and Letters Live event this past weekend. I thought it was for some sort of lecture regarding the Hopper exhibition. I had bought a ticket in early January, but could not quite remember the particulars.

Last year I was really disappointed with myself because I forgot about two of the events in which I had bought a ticket. It’s not the end of the world and I really don’t feel like I wasted any money. Why? Because a donation to the Dallas Museum of Art and Arts and Letters Live is worth it. But let me continue.

So I skipped off to the museum expecting to see a presentation by a curator or someone having to do with Hopper. Wrong. This event was part of the Selected Shorts series. I heard four short stories presented by Kaneza Schaal, David Strathairn, and Parker Posey. And let me emphasize the last two–David Strathairn and Parker Posey–not to take away anything from Ms. Schaal, who was adorable. Since I am usually early everywhere I go, I whizzed through the Hopper exhibition again, looking closely at all of the originals and the drawings and prep work. Once again, I was in awe of Hopper and his extraordinary time and effort and studies before ever picking up the paintbrush. 

Then, as I am wont to do, I capered into the auditorium and went to see what seats were down in the front. Plenty, since I was early! So I sat on the second row almost dead center and got to see and hear these great actors read shorts stories related to Hopper and his works. Well, two of the stories were directly related and two were chosen because they could have been related. I was mesmerized the whole time. David Strathairn has beautiful grey hair and a beard and a moustache. Parker Posey knows how to use pauses better than anyone. Also, her teeth are perfect. Perfect. These two actors are absolutely two of my favorites of the art house and independent genres of films that I enjoy so much. 

I was shocked at how unaware I was of what the whole event was going to be, but I was also glad that I chose to buy a ticket back when I probably knew . . . 

What was read:

“The Woman in the Window” by James Lasdun, performed by Kaneza Schaal

Morning Sun, Edward Hopper, 1952, oil on canvas, 28 1/8 x 40 1/8 in.,
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio

“Killing Time” and “Insomnia” by Stuart Dybek, performed by David Strathairn

“Roy Spivey” by Miranda July, performed by Parker Posey

Night Windows, Edward Hopper, 1928, oil on canvas, 29 x 34 in. (73.7 x 86.4 cm)
Museum of Modern Art, New York
I won’t go into how the actors and a guest were chatting with each other before the event as I enjoyed a glass of wine, but I was so busy playing with my phone that I didn’t notice they were standing around a table or two away from me. Only when they came down to the front of the auditorium before going into the “green room” did I realize it had been them. 

  2 comments for “Danger and Desire: Tales of Hopper’s City

  1. January 31, 2014 at 12:04 AM

    Beautiful images, so very evocative. Sounds divine.

    • January 31, 2014 at 2:26 AM

      Thank you, Silvia! So glad you stopped by! Hopper’s preparations before painting were astounding. These stories are amazing, too! Cheers, MDC

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