The leading online auction platform for art and luxury collectibles Paddle8 is presenting a selection of photographs and billboards created by Dennis Hopper, acclaimed actor, director, photographer and artist. The sale ‘The Artist: Dennis Hopper’, which was curated in collaboration with the Hopper Art Trust, runs through October 27 and will offer 18 rare works by the American icon, consisting of special edition prints created exclusively for Paddle8 and three unique billboards.
Between 1961 and 1967, before making his directorial debut in 1969 with the landmark counterculture film Easy Rider, Hopper took thousands of pictures, primarily candid shots of bikers, hippies, actors, musicians, and artists. These relaxed and intimate photographs show Hopper’s strength as a portrait photographer, including candid shots of his friends Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, actor Paul Newman and the rock band The Byrds. Joslin van Arsdale, Senior Secialist for Photographs at Paddle8, notes: “This auction offers a rare opportunity to own one of Dennis Hopper’s signature, yet timeless works. The sale impressively showcases how multi-faceted and -talented Hopper was.”
Speaking to Paddle8, Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter and executor of the Hopper Estate, said: “There is a core of realism and truth that runs through all of my father’s work. He was a method actor — if he was performing drinking a cup of coffee, he really drank a cup of coffee. His photographs have a similar sense of realness, they are never cropped or altered, only shot with available light and never, ever posed.”
The scenery Hopper captured is America in concentrated form: endless highways, gigantic billboards and broad boulevards. In the 1960s, several of his friends were creating billboards as a way to support their art, and through them he became acquainted with professional billboard artists whom he commissioned to translate some of his photographs into large-scale paintings. He then learned their craft and created his own paintings based on his photographs, expressing the medium in full circle. Marin Hopper recalls: “If you’re a person who genuinely wants to change the world, you’re going to be multifaceted in your creative expression. My father was always looking to make things happen, always evolving, always discovering new outlets for his vision.” The particularly sought-after work ‘Double Standard’ (1961) represents a brilliant example where Hopper’s early photograph served as a basis for a huge painting.
In total, The Artist: Dennis Hopper includes 18 lots and will run from October 4 through October 27 on www.paddle8.com. All lots in the sale are offered with an immediate Buy Now option, with prices ranging from $2,500 to $5,500 for special edition photographs and prices for original billboards ranging from $80,000 to $300,000.