Dennis Hopper’s Photography, Now On Display in London, Documents a World “On Fire With Change”

Ear­ly in his long career, Den­nis Hop­per found time to “do his­to­ry a favor,” using his cam­era to doc­u­ment a world “on fire with change.”

Good tim­ing. The peri­od from 1961 to 1967 was a less than fer­tile peri­od for him as an actor after some less than pro­fes­sion­al behav­ior land­ed him on the Hol­ly­wood naughty list. His inter­est in pho­tog­ra­phy may not have kept him out of trou­ble, but it did help him main­tain a sense of artis­tic pur­pose whilst pick­ing up a healthy num­ber of guest appear­ances on TV.

Busy busy busy. (Some­thing tells me James Fran­co and Ethan Hawke would approve.)

Hav­ing redeemed his rep­u­ta­tion with The Trip and Cool Hand Luke, Hop­per was back on track for movie star­dom, but not before he chose the most stir­ring of thou­sands of images for a solo exhi­bi­tion at the Fort Worth Art Cen­ter, held in 1969–70.

In the esti­ma­tion of cura­tor Petra Giloy-Hirtz, who recre­at­ed this show for the Lon­don Roy­al Acad­e­my of Art’s “Den­nis Hop­per: The Lost Album,” the work that cap­tured the aver­age Joe’s expe­ri­ence dur­ing this peri­od of upheaval places him among the best pho­tog­ra­phers of the peri­od.

He also did pop cul­ture a favor, by turn­ing his lens on cer­tain glit­tery sub­jects from the art and film worlds, includ­ing Andy Warhol, the Rolling Stones’ Bri­an Jones, and actress Jane Fon­da and direc­tor Roger Vadim on their wed­ding day.

If you can’t make it to the exhib­it at the Lon­don Roy­al Acad­e­my of Art, you can view some of Hop­per’s 400 pho­tographs in this online gallery host­ed by the BBC.

via Laugh­ing Squid

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Stan­ley Kubrick’s Jazz Pho­tog­ra­phy and The Film He Almost Made About Jazz Under Nazi Rule

The Big Ernest Hem­ing­way Pho­to Gallery: The Nov­el­ist in Cuba, Spain, Africa and Beyond

David Lynch Talks About His 99 Favorite Pho­tographs at Paris Pho­to 2012

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, and the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the award-win­ning East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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