Beyond the Streets

Dennis Hopper

West Coast

Dennis Hopper was an acclaimed artist, actor and filmmaker whose iconic and distinctly American voice established him as one of the most singular creative figures of his time. When directing the film Colors in 1988, Hopper became enamored with the graffiti markings on the streets of Los Angeles, documenting them in a series of Polaroid photos and later emulating them by hand with spray paint on canvas.

Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Hopper grew up in San Diego and spent most of his life between Los Angeles and Taos, New Mexico. As an actor he appeared in over 140 television shows and starred in over 150 films. In 1969, Hopper co-wrote, directed and acted in the film Easy Rider, forever changing the face of American cinema and garnering an Academy Award® nomination for Best Screenplay. In 1971, Hopper wrote, directed and starred in the film The Last Movie, which was awarded the CIDALC Award at the Venice Film Festival. In addition to his dynamic acting career, Hopper ardently dedicated more than five decades of his life to artistic expression — exploring the mediums of photography, painting, sculpture, film and installation. His work holds its foundation in the cultural revolution of the 1960s, when a Pop sensibility emerged, the West Coast became a popular new venue for creative expression, and photography asserted itself as an important artistic medium. In the roles of artist and collector, Hopper worked and socialized with the artistic avant-garde, constantly exchanging ideas and influencing one another’s work. During his lifetime, his artwork was exhibited around the world. He received several awards from the international community, including being named a commander of the French Legion of Honor and receiving its highest award of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2008. Since Hopper’s death in May of 2010, his artwork continues to be in demand in the private and public contemporary art realms. Recently his works have been seen in Berlin; Spain; at Gagosian Gallery in New York City; Paris Photo L.A. (2014); Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Paris (2015); Varmlands Museum, Sweden (2016); and Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles (2017).

Kilroy