University of Chicago
The Mystery of Loneliness
Write an essay about a work of art or a painting.
Even though I ostensibly lack talent in the fields of drawing or painting, my appreciation and enthusiasm for art is unquestioned. Starting from a young age, I insisted on going to the Art Institute every time my family took a trip to downtown Chicago. Wandering around the museum to ogle at the endless display art, one painting always stuck in my mind. As a child, I did not know this painting was Nighthawks, by Edward Hopper, or that it is one of the best-known American paintings of the 20th century, but I felt inexplicably drawn to the painting. Even though the painting is displayed in a large busy museum, surrounded by thousands of other works of art, I always felt alone each time I studied it. It was as if all the other visitors and all the other art had disappeared, and the massive Art Institute had been built just to house this one painting
The room is starkly lit, clinical, and bare. The people are still and stiff, frozen in their own worlds. A wall of glass separates us from them. The man and the woman are almost touching, yet separated by a seemingly unbridgeable space. A third customer sits alone, hunched and shadowed. The attendant looks beyond his customers, through the polished windows, and at the bleak, empty...
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