“I wanted to document something. I wanted to leave something that I thought would be a record of it, whether it was Martin Luther King, the hippies, or whether it was the artist.” (Dennis Hopper)
The best photography exhibition in London currently is the Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album collection being exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts. The actor and director most famous for Easy Rider in 1969 which he stared in with Peter Fonda, and also directed. The exhibition chronologically recounts the start of Dennis Hopper’s early career in photography up until his more famous directing and acting roles. The large collection of photos were taken from 1961 to 1967, and were once exhibited before in 1970, but then remained lost until Dennis Hoppers death in 2010. Dennis Hopper’s photography interest started in the 50s with his future with buying him a Nikon F camera with an attached standard 28mm lens whilst working on a set with James Dean, James was the first Protagonist to encouragement Dennis to pursue photography. In the Six years between 1961-1967 he took 18,000 photos.
In the 60s Dennis Hopper become a recognisable figure and was usually seen at the most famous film sets, and art scene events and parties of the era. Hanging around with iconic figures such as And Warhol, Paul Newman and Jane Fonda. Taking photos of their daily lives, and iconic moments such as Martin Luther King’s speeches where he was often as close to the speaker as he could possibly get. The 60s was also a decade of political and culture change which Dennis Hopper looked at documenting. Many of his photos focused on hippies and Hell’s Angel gangs.
One of the things I loved about this exhibition was how envious I became realising Dennis Hopper was clearly an incredibly likable and poplar guy from free loving hippies to the sometimes dangerous motorbike gangs along the West Coast of America. He was obviously a man who could blend into any scene and situation and come out with amazing stories captured in photographs.
The show is on from 26th June until the 19th October 2014
The Royal Academy of Arts, 2014. Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album. [online] Available at <https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/dennis-hopper>[Accessed 06 September 2014].
The Royal Academy of Arts, Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album, Press Release. [online] Available at <http://royal-academy-production-asset.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/a2fc3827-e5ae-4cad-b01a-1d30e7694291/Final%20Dennis%20Hopper%20-%20The%20Lost%20Album%20Press%20Release.pdf>[Accessed 06 September 2014].
Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, David Hockney and Jeff Goodman, 1963. [image online] Available at <https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/dennis-hopper>[Accessed 06 September 2014].