If you are looking for a true biography of Edward Hopper, the graphic novel Edward Hopper: The Story of His Life, is not it. But if you want a more artistic look at the artist and his relationship with art in general, his own art, his wife of decades, the artists he was taught by, and were students with, plus feelings he had on Paris, New York, and life itself told by conversations between himself and his wife, then this is it. We even see how Hopper influenced Alfred Hitchcock and the movie Psycho.
Sergio Rossi is a fan of Hopper, and therefore, some of Hopper’s flaws are slightly glossed over, but then again, due to the way Hopper as a narrator reacts to his wife Jo and her responses (and visa versa) we see the man as he most likely was. Imperfect, cynical, and most likely, a genius.
The artwork done by Giovanni Scarduelli mimics the styles of Hopper and sometimes the other artists mentioned. Colors and details are bold, muted, filled and empty. This contradiction comes together creating a piece of artistic history done imaginatively. Sometimes things feel flat, sometimes they are alive. Both art and text are something you need to slowly move through, by not rushing during your first reading. However, I would recommend reading this book at least three times: once for text, once for art, and once for the two combined. The illustrations do not shy from being sexualized/sexual but are not necessarily done for the “tease effect.” Scarduelli painted the vaginal area and breasts naturally.
Hopper seems to have a love-hate relationship with art and his art in particular. He seems to really dislike the famous painting, Nighthawks, and thought critics did not know “real art” when they panned one of his (in Hopper’s opinion) better works and were praising something “less worthy” of praise. Of course, these are only my interpretations of what I read, and I might not have gotten everything or missed points. Though I came away from this that he might not have been a happy man, thinking that he could have been “great” if not for “them” and “pigeonholing” him. If nothing else, this book introduced me to artists I would have never known, and given me a look into one mans world. This is not an easy read, I am not sure who would enjoy it (fans of the art, people who like art, readers into books about people?), and recommend it for at least strong teens and up. It is a “Huh, did I like this book?” for me and an experience I have not fully digested yet.