Victor Burgin’s series The office at night

The coursework states

A photograph inspired by another is called ‘Homage’.

The point of homage must be apparent within the photograph. It’s not the same as ‘appropriation’ which re-contextualizes its subject to create something new, often in an ironic or humorous way. Instead, homage should share some deep empathy or kinship with the original work. An example is Victor Burgin’s series The Office at Night ( 1986), based on Edward Hopper’s Famous painting of the same name.

The hackneyed idea of ‘influence’ is not at issue here. I am not interested in the question of what one artist may or may not have taken from another. I am referring to the universally familiar phenomenon of looking at one image and having another image spontaneously come to mind [accessed 16/06/14] 


After seeing the painting and looking through the photos I can see why the painting was an inspiration.  Initially you think it is mundane until you look further past the title of the painting. My eyes dart from the dark patches on the carpet to the whiter than white wall then to the typewriter.

The woman looks striking but the man looks bland which gives the painting some anxiety and makes it slightly off balance to me. I love the diagonals all the action is left side with brightness on the right even thought it is obviously night outside the window yet very bright inside.

It raises questions. Why are they there, why is the window open ? What is the paper on the floor for. How did it get there?

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