“What is art but a way of seeing” –Thomas Berger
Poets use metaphors to present life in a new perspective. Painters and photographers capture fleeting moments. Their images connect us through time. And our curiosity flares when a particular portrait or landscape causes us to pause, to focus.
Sometimes we are caught by the effect and study the craft. Sometimes we are caught by the mood and wonder at the story behind it. Automat by Hopper provides that moment in time to see.
An attractive woman sits alone in a diner, late at night, holding a coffee cup. The room is well lit where she sits, but outside the window only darkness. Has she missed her train? Is she waiting for an arrival? Did someone she loves leave, and she can’t bring herself to go home?
Next to her is a bowl of colorful fruit. She wears a green coat, edged with black fur at neck and wrists, and a yellow hat with a broad rim encircling her head. The table is round, white-topped, also edged in black. Black chairs. A yellow heater. Black doors with a yellow bar.
She is alone. Her isolation frozen in stillness.
If you were to capture this image as a word metaphor, what would you say?
Write up a paragraph of internal monologue as she convinces herself to leave the diner, OR a paragraph that begins with her standing up—what happens next?