John Gilbert

Murphy's 2020, May 2020
Transparent Watercolor on Arches 140# Paper
12 x 20 in
The painting shows a small group of people gathered in a brightly lit bar-and-grill on a plain street somewhere in America. Across from the bar is a second group of people queued up, waiting for a grocery to open in the early hour of another boring day. It is a rendering of a slice of life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Several visible clues reveal their relationship to each other and the desperation they share. The mood of the composition evokes the haunting sense of isolation present in Edward Hopper's 'Nighthawks'. Like the caricatures in this painting, we are drawn together during the period of the COVID-19 virus by shared helpless feelings of no progress, no access to things we need, no power to move forward. We can easily place ourselves in this setting.