New York Office, 1962 by Edward Hopper

Hopper loved to show what is known in theater parlance as the "retarded moment." The animation of urban life is suspended for a brief moment, haste and unrest come to a standstill, revealing the absurdity of the rat race. A secretary behind a big picture window holds a letter in her hand, apparently lost in thought - until the telephone ringing on her desk recalls her to the real world.

Most of Hopper's depictions of office scenes are interiors, or at least suggest this point of vantage. New York Office is an exception. Here we stand outside looking into an office, perhaps a bank. Our role is that of a passerby hurrying along the sidewalk. But suddenly we are caught up short. That beautiful apparition in the sun-flooded window - isn't it Marilyn? No, of course not, but the resemblance is amazing.... And musingly we go on our way.