I didn't know Dennis Hopper was dead.
I also didn't know Dennis Hopper was an artist. Rather, I didn't know he was an artist who was inspired to make work for a gallery-setting --I didn't know he was that kind of artist.
So I was surprised by that:
THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES (MOCA), PRESENTS THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE U.S. MUSEUM SURVEY EXHIBITION OF THE ART OF ARTIST, FILM DIRECTOR, AND ACTOR DENNIS HOPPER (PR)
The show, at the Geffen building of MOCA, was pretty damn fascinating.
I'll have to steal an image from the LA Times because "ABSOLUTELY NO PHOTOGRAPHY [was] ALLOWED".
The whole thing was bizarre, for me, since, again, I didn't know he was down with the Assemblage-making art trend. Not that I found his assemblages very interesting, but honestly, I don't even find Rauschenberg's that interesting, so maybe it's just not my thing.
When you enter the Museum, you walk into an overwhelmingly empty Geffen Warehouse. The whole front show is absent. So, the Hopper show is off to the right, separate from the HUGE emptiness of the rest of the museum. It's a strange entrance experience.
Then you walk into the show, and you see two giant guys like the one in the image above. In between them was a strange life-size statue self-portrait of Hopper. I can't remember exactly, but it was like, "self portrait with rock and cactus" or something, and a young Hopper stands between these two objects. I'm just thinking, "wtf?" "Did he make these?" "What's going on?" No where do they say who made these statues. I overheard from the gallery attendants, "he commissioned these as works of art".
There's his painting inspired by graffiti and assemblage sections, which are underwhelming, but then I found myself in a theater space with highlights from this films. Fantastic. All the best clips of his acting and directing, and some documentary moments of him speaking about being a director.
But the best part was the photography and select photographs that he had commissioned someone to make into huge paintings. One of these clever images shares its name with the title of the show, Double Standard.