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Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967 [Hardcover]

Victor Bockris , Walter Hopps , Jessica Hundley , Tony Shafrazi , Dennis Hopper
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Book Description

Jan 2011
This title presents the many worlds of Dennis Hopper. A reluctant icon captures a decade of cultural transformation. During the 1960s, Dennis Hopper carried a camera everywhere - on film sets and locations, at parties, in diners, bars and galleries, driving on freeways and walking on political marches. He photographed movie idols, pop stars, writers, artists, girlfriends, and complete strangers. Along the way he captured some of the most intriguing moments of his generation with a keen and intuitive eye. A reluctant icon at the epicenter of that decade's cultural upheaval, Hopper documented the likes of Tina Turner in the studio, Andy Warhol at his first West Coast show, Paul Newman on set, and Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. From a selection of photographs compiled by Hopper and gallerist Tony Shafrazi - more than a third of them previously unpublished - this extensive volume distills the essence of Hopper's brilliantly prodigious photographic career. Also included are introductory essays by Tony Shafrazi and legendary West Coast art pioneer Walter Hopps, and an extensive biography by journalist Jessica Hundley. With excerpts from Victor Bockris's interviews of Hopper's famous subjects, friends, and family, this volume is an unprecedented exploration of the life and mind of one of America's most fascinating personalities. After our limited and art editions, this book is now available in an unlimited trade edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Taschen GmbH; Mul edition (Jan 2011)
  • Language: English, French, German
  • ISBN-10: 383652726X
  • ISBN-13: 978-3836527262
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 22.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) was an acclaimed artist, actor, screenwriter, and director who first impressed audiences with his performances in Rebel Without A Cause (1955) and Giant (1956). He changed the face of American cinema with Easy Rider (1969), which he co-wrote, directed, and starred in. Hopper went on to act in hundreds of memorable films and television shows, including Apocalypse Now (1979), Blue Velvet (1986), Hoosiers (1986), True Romance (1993), Basquiat (1997), Elegy (2008), and the TV series Crash (2008). Hopper began painting as a child and started taking photos in 1961, after his then wife Brooke Hayward gave him a 35mm Nikon camera for his birthday. His paintings and photography have been exhibited all over the world, including the recent retrospective, "Dennis Hopper and the New Hollywood" in Paris. Dennis Hopper passed away May 29, 2010 in Venice, CA. An Englishman who moved to New York in 1973 and became connected to Andy Warhol, the Factory, and Interview, Victor Bockris has written books on Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, Keith Richards, William S. Burroughs, Patti Smith, and Muhammad Ali. Walter Hopps (1933-2005) was one of the premier curators of 20th century art. Co-founder of Los Angeles's Ferus Gallery and director of the Pasadena Museum of Art, he was responsible for the first retrospectives of Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell, and Marcel Duchamp. A key advocate of American Pop art, his 1962 survey "New Painting of Common Objects" was the first of its kind. After directing the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, he went on to build the Menil Collection museum in Houston and became its founding director in 1987. A filmmaker and frequently published art, music and film journalist, Jessica Hundley has directed several documentaries and recently completed her second book, a biography of country-rock legend Gram Parsons. Born in Abadan, Iran, to Armenian parents, Tony Shafrazi was educated in England from age 13, graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1967. Moving to New York in 1969, he exhibited as a conceptual artist throughout Europe and New York. From 1974-78, he advised and helped build an outstanding collection for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tehran. In 1979, he opened his New York gallery, introducing groundbreaking American artists of the '80s including Haring, Basquiat, Scharf, Brown, and Baechler, while exhibiting masters of the '60s: Warhol, Ruscha, and Hopper. From 1990, he exhibited the work of Brian Clarke, Patrick Demarchelier, Robert Williams, Michael Ray Charles, and David LaChapelle. Since 1997 he has represented the Estate of Francis Bacon, and continues to mount museum-quality exhibitions, most recently the critically acclaimed "Who's Afraid of Jasper Johns?"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monster of a Book 22 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first came across Dennis Hoppers Photography when one of his shots was used on The Smiths Best of Album cover. He's more than a one trick pony and this retrospective covers his period of 1961-1967 in glorious A3 sized print of approx 540 pages (it's a heavy affair). He was a bit of a scenester and it appears he was never without a camera; he had a great eye, not just for the circles he frequented but 60's Americana. There is Black and White alongside colour photos. This edition also covers an updated Filmography of his work as Director, Writer and Actor with text from the man himself, Walter Hopps, Victor Bockris and Jessica Hundley, making it more than a Coffee Table Book but an intellectual text covering one of the many aspects of the great man's life as Artist, Actor, Writer and Photographer of skill with a great eye for detail. This book will no doubt go on to document another aspect of his varied, skilled life, but more so document a period in America History seen from someone who was at times at loggerheads with authority and had no one but himself to please. A worthy investment to those who still buy books in analogue form, but you might want to reinforce those shelves; this is a monster of a book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the 1960's seen by 7 Jun 2011
Format:Hardcover
Most of us know Dennis Hopper as the actor who was in Easy Rider and Blue Velvet, but for most of his career he was also a keen photographer.
At age 18, Hopper acted alongside James Dean in Rebel without a Cause, and it was Dean who encouraged Hopper to take up photography.

In this book we are treated to a collection of pictures of some of the pop culture movers and shakers of the 1960's. Martin Luther King, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsburg, Andy Warhol, and the Grateful Dead all appear in this book.
There a photos of Ike and Tina Turner in the recording studio, John Wayne and James Dean on set, Jane Fonda at the beach, and Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein in his studio.

With a movie-acting career that spanned 5 decades, Hopper's acting roles were diverse, and saw him playing everything from a Nazi on the Twilight Zone, to a hippy biker in the cult movie Easy Rider. He also was a screenwriter and director.

As well as over 400 photos, there is an introductory essay by friend and gallery curator Tony Shafrazi, a complete biography of Hopper's acting and directorial roles, and quotes from interviews with Hopper's famous subjects and friends. We get to see inside the life and work of a fascinating American personality.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Hopper - Photo's 12 April 2011
Format:Hardcover
I highly recommend this experience in a book form
The company supplying it are a credit to Amazon.
Purchase and enjoy
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a revelation.
I received it for my birthday from my son and boy do I love it.
I have loved Dennis Hopper for forever and a day and will do so until I too breathe my last.
His talent knew no boundaries-film, art, photography and I can only guess at his other talents.
God in his wisdom protected him in his many extremes and let him continue his life on earth long past the expectations of a man who pushed his life so to the edge.
Juat imagine if he had died young?
We would have been so much poorer for never knowing the briliance of the man.
Je T'Aime Dennis forever and ever.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961 - 1967 (Taschen) 20 April 2011
By BlogOnBooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
By now, many of you are familiar with the Taschen program of releasing certain titles in a large format, limited edition, only to follow on with a slightly smaller format version of the same title at a greatly reduced price, perhaps a year (or in the case of Helmut Newton's "Sumo," ten years) later. Such is the case with three new popularly priced releases from the art book house.

From the time he shared the screen with James Dean in the seminal films "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Giant," actor/photographer was almost never without his camera. It was, in fact, at the urging of his pal Dean that Hopper took up the lensman's craft to have "another discipline besides acting," according to the text of "Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961 - 1967." It was exactly that advice that led to a decade long portfolio that captured many of the leading progenitors of the West Coast art scene as well as a slice of his Hollywood years and an array of distinctive photographs taken throughout 60's L.A. From his perch in Venice, California, Hooper ensconced himself in a scene that included upstarts like Ed Ruscha, Ed Kienholz, Wally Berman, and Billy Al Bengston as well as partaking in visits with east coasters Roy Lichtenstein and der Warhol himself (all pictured herein). Hopper's position in the West Coast art community gives us a gritty, realistic, insider's view of a nascent group that eventually competed head on with the famed modern artists of the New York scene.

In addition to his photographic work, Hopper's film career is fully explored in text and photos covering everything from his career building roles in films like "The Trip" and "Easy Rider" to his later work in a wide panoply of films from "Apocalypse Now' (where Francis Ford Coppola cast him as a Vietnam photo-journalist) to "Blue Velvet" to his own film "The Last Movie" and dozens more. Ample text is provided throughout by Iranian-born exhibitor Tony Shafrazi with contributions from Walter Hopps, Victor Bockris, Jessica Huntley and the subject himself. With both a comprehensive filmography as well as a publication and exhibition history, "Photographs" is much more than an art compilation, but rather serves as a definitive history of the full creative output of the man himself. In short, a major and essential work.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning: These Photographs will Amaze Viewers! 30 Aug 2011
By James R. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Anyone looking at this 544-page collection of photographs is going to be in for a huge surprise. Not only was Dennis Hopper a fine motion picture actor, writer and director he was also one of the best photojournalists of the 1960s.
Unlike most photojournalists and photographers who are always shooting from the outside of an event looking into it, Hopper was taking endless photographers from the inside of the event. His pictures are obviously taken by a photographer intimately involved in the scene. Maybe he was invisible, or just so accepted by the group of subjects he was working with, that they ignored him? Maybe it was a technique he'd picked up from acting in movies? Maybe it was his director's eye where the movie camera is right in the middle of the event? However, since most of these photos aren't of Hollywood people, he was able to achieve the same intimate connection with all his subjects. His pictures are different from most photographers of that era or this one. He is there, up close and personal with his subject matter. He must have always had his camera and was shooting so much that people eventually just ignored the constant click, click, clicking and Nikons make a lot of noise when the mirror swings out of the way of the shutter. At least it was probably possible to tell where he was in the room just by listening for the telltale sound of his Nikon as he moved around. "Oh, there goes Dennis playing with his cameras again. Don't pay any attention to him. Just ignore him if he sticks his camera right in front of your face."
Perhaps that ability to blend comfortably into the scene is best stated by Hopper himself in the caption to some of his nude photos titled "Twins at 1712, 1966":
"When I was a teenager and moved to California, I realized there were a lot of artists and actors I thought were great--everybody from Van Gogh to W. C. Fields--who basically had the idea that you can't make discoveries if you sit around waiting for something to happen. You've got to get out of there. And sometimes that means exploring all kinds of stimuli, Sex, drugs, anger, passion...sex."
Dennis Hopper definitely followed that philosophy.
Like all photographers of the period he was aware of what other photographers as well as fellow painters were doing. His photographs in the book are arranged in several general categories with some overlapping of subjects and images depending on the circumstances. The various sections of the book are "Visions of Dennis, Abstract Expression, On the Road, Inside Hollywood, Just a Gallery Bum," and "The Scene." There is also an index, another biographical section called "In the Moment" as well as a "Filmography" and Bibliography & Exhibition History." Much of the text is provided by Hopper, but there are excellent sections by Walter Hopps, Victor Bockris and Jessica Hundley. Unlike most collections of photographs there is plenty of meaty text and quotes from interviews in this 10-pound Tachen Metro-Golden Mayer production of a photographic book. This volume is right up there with "SUMO" and some of Tachen's other superb book productions.
Most of the photos in the book are reproduced in black and white, which makes them much more dramatic in appearance. Some of them appear to have originally been shot in color for one kind of magazine or record cover assignment. In at least one case the color record album cover is also reproduced. They usually aren't as interesting as the photos he did strictly for himself. Many of his portraits are interesting because of the locations and backgrounds Dennis chose for the portraits. The dust cover and various subject dividers are a combination of black and white photos toned red, orange, blue or purple. Ditto for the cover.
For older viewers the colors on the book cover may remind them of the primitive four color transparencies people used to stick over their black and white television screens to give a faint illusion that the programs were broadcast in gaudy, garish colors. This was one of the worst parts of the book production, but the editor probably felt it was needed to break up the endless flow of one dramatic black and white photograph after another. Fortunately, a few of those color-toned photographs like the cover were reproduced elsewhere in their true black and white starkness.
Some of my favorite pictures were taken in Selma with Martin Luther King, Jr.
"In Selma I had Joan Baez on one side and Peter, Paul and Mary on the other." The fact Dennis was a famous movie star from a very young age, definitely gained him access and acceptance to events that most people would never have had access. Hopper's photographs are taken from right in the midst and bustle of the event. An example of Hopper being in the center of the event can easily be seen in his double-page (396-397) photograph of Ralph David Abernathy at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Rally in Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Hopper was right there, up close and as personal as could be. It seems so strange to find this wonderful set of powerful civil rights photographs from the March on Selma in the same book as the ones of other events such as private dinner parties of Hollywood Big Whigs and the making of the movie "The American Dreamer," 1971.
There are so many wonderful pictures that it's difficult to pick out a favorite. The night after I'd first examined the book, several images stuck in my mind, which means they must have impressed me more than some of the others. One of them was on page 458 and was a 1966 color picture of young actress Jane Fonda sprawled out in a very comfortable chair snuggling with Kienholz's art piece "The Quickie." The pose is so natural the viewer will be reminded of their own skinny teenagers lounging around the house looking as relaxed and unconcerned as the family cat. There were lots of other photos that come to mind and that's part of the problem. There are too many outstanding photos in this collection--that's what is so amazing. For the decade covered in this book Dennis Hopper may have been one of the two or three great photojournalists of the period.
The last section of the book is a picture biography of Hopper's entire life. This photo album is great because the pictures used in the different language sections of the book's text are different so the reader gets to see more photographs than if the pictures were simply repeated with each translation of the text. In this section other great photographer's photos of Hopper can be seen. Naturally there are lots of movie stills as part of this section. Dennis Hopper probably never climbed to the status of a Super Star, but he certainly worked with most of the giants of Hollywood, Art and the Music world of his time. And while he may not have become a Super Star Legend for his film work, his photojournalism work may quite possibility be more important and relevant than his film work.
And in case anyone has questions about whether he was really taking pictures when he was typecast as the crazed war photographer in Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," he wasn't. Coppola wouldn't let him have any film for his muddy Nikons because he was afraid Hopper would release pictures from the movie epic before the film was released. Too bad, there was certainly plenty of material happening in that motion picture that would have been captured and persevered by Hopper's quirky eye.
This is a real heavy weight of a photography book--maybe one of the best ones ever published. In addition to providing mental food, just carrying the book from room to room will save you a trip to the gym.
(For those people wanting more information on Dennis Hopper and his photography you might enjoy reading my Amazon reader's review of "Dennis Hopper: The Wild Ride of a Hollywood Rebel" by Peter L. Winkler.)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Huge,Magnificent Body Of Work! 10 Oct 2011
By Steven Mark - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First thing i noticed was the Monstrous Size of the book! I was Amazed at the small price for such a large book! This body of work show's the Brilliant,Creative Mind & Vision that Mr. Hopper had, photographically speaking. So many big star's of his era in shots that have never been seen. This book is very much worth the 50 bucks!
5.0 out of 5 stars It's big and beautiful. 2 July 2014
By John P. Bitting - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of THE coolest coffee table books ever. It's big and beautiful.
5.0 out of 5 stars 1960's via Dennis Hopper 6 Jan 2013
By Jo Antreasian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gift for my husband- He was thrilled with it. Large format bigger than I had anticipated. Photo's are great, very nostalgic.
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