Drugstore Camera feels like a stumbled-upon treasure, a disposable camera you forgot about and only just remembered to develop. Yet in this case the photographer is Dennis Hopper and the photographs, remarkably, are never before published. Shot in Taos, New Mexico, where Hopper was based following the production of Easy Rider in the late 60s, the series was taken with disposable cameras and developed in drugstore photo labs. This clothbound collection documents Hopper's friends and family among the ruins and open vistas of the desert landscape, female nudes in shadowy interiors, road trips to and from his home state of Kansas and impromptu still lifes of discarded objects. These images, capturing iconic individuals and wide-open Western terrain, create a captivating view of the 60s and 70s that combines political idealism and optimism with California cool.
Dennis Hopper (1936-2010) was born in Dodge City, Kansas. He first appeared on television in 1954 and quickly became a cult actor, known for films such as Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Easy Rider (1969), The American Friend (1977), Apocalypse Now (1979), Blue Velvet (1986) and Hoosiers (1986). In 1988 he directed the critically acclaimed Colors. Hopper was also a prolific photographer and published now-classic portraits of celebrities such as Andy Warhol and Martin Luther King Jr. His works are housed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.