Dennis Stock’s images of James Dean offer a uniquely intimate insight into a life on the brink of stardom, through the eyes of a close friend. Stock was introduced to Dean in Hollywood in January 1955, and, after watching a preview of Dean in ‘East of Eden’, became fascinated with the actor’s startling talent. Stock wanted to know where Dean had come from, and proposed to do a visual biography of his humble origins in Fairmount, Indiana—at the time a radical approach to documenting a celebrity. But it was through this deeply personal journey, along with the photographs taken in Hollywood, New York City, and on film sets, that Stock was able to build up such a complete picture of the young actor in both his professional and private worlds.

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