Dennis Stock discovered the sun as the central graphic element of his own life while on assignment to the golden hills of Umbria, Italy. He was there to photograph the landscapes that had become so central to the philosophy of St. Francis of Assisi, and, inspired by that experience and by St. Francis’ own record of major gratitude for his celestial “brother”, Stock set out to begin the major work of his career – a photographic appreciation of the sun.

Artistically, I try to retain beauty’s truth as expressed in the glorious graphics found in nature

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

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox