Daily Picture Show

Dennis Hopper, The Photographer

Dennis Hopper was known to most for his contributions to film — as an actor or director in films like Rebel Without A Cause, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now and Hoosiers. But he was also a successful painter, a sculptor and, through it all, a photographer.

1 of 10

View slideshow i

Hopper's interest in art began at a young age. Born in 1936, he was painting by the 1950s and took to photography during the 1960s, at the urging of fellow actor James Dean.

In 2009, Taschen published a collection of those early photographs. Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967 showcases Hopper's talent in taking portraits; many of the photos are of his celebrity friends like Paul Newman and Andy Warhol. And, although his portfolio is rich with art-world luminaries, he also has photos from all over the U.S. — snapshots of everyday people and life.

Dennis Hopper

hide captionA portrait of Dennis Hopper

Terry Richardson/Taschen/Tony Shafrazi Gallery

Some of his most striking images, for example, come from the civil rights era when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. Based on a photograph of King at the podium, it appears Hopper was at the heart of the event.

Through the years, he not only created but also collected fine art. Hopper curated an impressive personal collection and had gallery showings all over the world. In October 2008, in fact, he became a member of France's National Order of Arts and Letters, an rank for individuals with significant contributions to the arts.

Since his death May 29, countless obituaries have paid homage to Hopper's seminal role in the film industry. But respects are also being paid to his artwork: Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art is planning to mount a survey of Hopper's art career in July. And, in addition to revisiting his films and paintings, a look through his photos shows the life of Dennis Hopper — through his eyes.

You can look through the entire book here.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: