Description

Whether photographing Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe or immigrants newly arrived in New York, photographer Dennis Stock had an extraordinary ability to capture the essence of the American experience.

In the 1960s he was drawn to the American highways. He drove through California, taking in the unique, heady spirit of the place, and photographing the curious characters he met along the way, from cult leaders, to hippies, off-duty actors, nudists and countless other free spirits that are drawn to the state.

Pictured here, the corner of Sepulveda and Waton Boulevards. Los Angeles, California. 1960. In Dennis Stock’s Hollywood, even everyday architecture looks like fantasy film sets.

Photography occurs more readily when the photographer relinquishes self-consciousness for a state of humility and childlike wonderment. Then, there is a greater freshness and purity in what you capture on film

Dennis Stock
© Dennis Stock | Magnum Photos

Dennis Stock was born in 1928 in New York City. At the age of 17, he left home to join the United States Navy. In 1947, he became an apprentice to Life magazine photographer Gjon Mili and won first prize in Life’s Young Photographers contest. He joined Magnum in 1951.

Stock evoked the spirit of America through his memorable and iconic portraits of Hollywood stars, most notably James Dean. Other notable projects include his work on the jazz scene and on the California free-loving counterculture of the 1960’s.

In the 1990s he went back to his urban origins, exploring the modern architecture of large cities and his later work was mostly focused on the abstraction of flowers.

Dennis Stock resided in Woodstock, New York, until his death in 2010.

© Dennis Stock | Magnum Photos

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