Known for his dark and mysterious depictions of clowns and circus characters, Walt Kuhn had an innate sense of human character and interpreted these fringe personalities through his strong modernist approach. This rich and broadly brushed early work demonstrates the artist's early predilection toward Modern Art. Kuhn studied at the Munich Academy from 1901-03 and The Eye Opener, painted in 1906, reflects the German academy's influence through Kuhn's use of darker, rich tones and heavy brush. However, this painting is purely an American scene, as Kuhn captures a moment in time as two gentlemen lean toward the bar and the bartender patiently awaits. The bright daylight pours in through the window, illuminating the otherwise dark and brooding barroom.