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

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

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