Nighthawks

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Originally appearing in London, England, Nighthawks is a comical, shocking print. A shirtless man in British flag underpants and sneakers accosts the patrons of an American-style diner after breaking the window of the establishment. Strewn about the belligerent are two patio chairs, suggesting perhaps that the angry man used one of these to crack the window. The background of the print stands away from the tension of the foreground.

This art piece has plenty to say about the relationship of the belligerent to the scene of the diner. The angry man shows disdain for the picturesque, idealistic portrayal. In the diner, patrons dressed in mid-20th century Hollywood garb stare outwardly at the belligerent nonchalantly. The print depicts no sense of urgency or fear in the patrons of the diner. They simply turn and look nonchalantly at the wild scene outside of the diner.

The star of the show, the belligerent, seems intent on disrupting the tranquility of the diner scene, but he is successful in grabbing the patron’s attention only briefly. The artist’s choice of depicting the belligerent with British flag underpants gives the print a humorous appeal to casual art viewers with a glib sense of humor.

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