This short film takes us inside the late actor Denis Hopper’s home-studio, where he gives a quick tour around his collection of Modern Art works, from Julian Schnabel, Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Ed Ruscha.
Hopper was signed at 18 on contract to Warner Bros, he identified with Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, and James Dean, but found he was expected to conform to the studio’s whims. Hopper was too sensitive to conform, and his vulnerability saw him bullied and picked on by old time studio director Henry Hathaway, who had him black-balled from Hollywood.
For the next few years, Hopper did little work. Instead, he picked up a camera and documented the social and cultural changes that were happening across America, and to himself, during the 1950s and 1960s. He also became a “gallery bum”. Where others went to the beach, Hopper hung around art galleries looking for inspiration for his acting career.
He met and became friends with the young artists whose works were exhibited - Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Ruscha - and he started to collect, but it wasn’t about the money.
“My idea of collecting is not going and buying bankable names, but buying people that I believe are really contributing something to my artistic life.”
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