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RIP: Dennis Hopper

Actor, director, artist and American icon Dennis Hopper died at 8:15 this morning at his home in Venice, CA surrounded by friends.  He succumbed to complications of prostate cancer. Much has been very well written about Hopper the actor, the crazy man, the resurrection tale–oh how we love a redemption and resurrection!

A classically trained actor who appeared in films ranging from Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, and Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, and True Romance to Super Mario Brothers and Speed, Hopper received two Oscar nominations — for writing Easy Rider (with co-star Peter Fonda and Terry Southern), and for an uncharacteristically heartwarming turn as an alcoholic high-school basketball coach in Hoosiers. Hopper overcame massive cocaine and alcohol addiction in the late 1970s and early 80s and rose again to stardom. He also appeared in commercials, including one for a retirement fund which played on his status as an elder statesman of hip.

Hopper received a star on Hollywood Boulevard earlier this year. And the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is planning a retrospective of Hopper’s photographs later this year.

The fate of Hopper’s multi-million dollar modern art collection now hangs in limbo. Hopper has four children and was in a bitter divorce battle when he died. In January this year, he filed for divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy, who continued to live in his Venice compound, though he stated in court documents that Duffy –his wife of 14 years with whom he had a six-year old daughter–

surreptitiously removed from my home very valuable personal property while I was extremely ill, refused to tell me where the property was when I asked her, and then left town.

The missing art, including a portrait of Hopper by Andy Warhol and sculptures by Robert Graham and Bansky, are worth more than $1.5 million. Hopper said in documents relating to his divorce that in nine years he sold $1.9 million worth of art–but spent $1.85 million on his collection.

Hopper’s democratic non-elitist view of art, collecting what he loved, carried over into his interactions with others involved in art at all levels, embracing gallery rats and young artists. Pop Surrealist Anthony Ausgang, who before his career ascended, made ends meet moving and installing art for wealthy collectors, recalled for us Hopper from the mid-80s.

When I worked as an art installer/delivery boy I went to Dennis Hopper’s place a few times. A week or two after “Blue Velvet” opened I saw him at an art opening and he was very loquacious and interested to hear about the other collections that we had attended to. He wasn’t jealous, just really into art collecting. When I told him that we had been moving the Vincent Price collection, he was completely stoked. He was a good guy and didn’t treat us art movers like shit, unlike some other collectors.

CommunityLaFiga

RIP: Dennis Hopper

Actor, director, artist and American icon Dennis Hopper died at 8:15 this morning at his home in Venice, CA surrounded by friends.  He succumbed to complications of prostate cancer. Much has been very well written about Hopper the actor, the crazy man, the resurrection tale–oh how we love a redemption and resurrection!

A classically trained actor who appeared in films ranging from Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, and Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, and True Romance to Super Mario Brothers and Speed, Hopper received two Oscar nominations — for writing Easy Rider (with co-star Peter Fonda and Terry Southern), and for an uncharacteristically heartwarming turn as an alcoholic high-school basketball coach in Hoosiers. Hopper overcame massive cocaine and alcohol addiction in the late 1970s and early 80s and rose again to stardom. He also appeared in commercials, including one for a retirement fund which played on his status as an elder statesman of hip.

Hopper received a star on Hollywood Boulevard earlier this year. And the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is planning a retrospective of Hopper’s photographs later this year.

The fate of Hopper’s multi-million dollar modern art collection now hangs in limbo. Hopper has four children and was in a bitter divorce battle when he died. In January this year, he filed for divorce from his fifth wife, Victoria Duffy, who continued to live in his Venice compound, though he stated in court documents that Duffy –his wife of 14 years with whom he had a six-year old daughter–

surreptitiously removed from my home very valuable personal property while I was extremely ill, refused to tell me where the property was when I asked her, and then left town.

The missing art, including a portrait of Hopper by Andy Warhol and sculptures by Robert Graham and Bansky, are worth more than $1.5 million. Hopper said in documents relating to his divorce that in nine years he sold $1.9 million worth of art–but spent $1.85 million on his collection.

Hopper’s democratic non-elitist view of art, collecting what he loved, carried over into his interactions with others involved in art at all levels, embracing gallery rats and young artists. Pop Surrealist Anthony Ausgang, who before his career ascended, made ends meet moving and installing art for wealthy collectors, recalled for us Hopper from the mid-80s.

When I worked as an art installer/delivery boy I went to Dennis Hopper’s place a few times. A week or two after “Blue Velvet” opened I saw him at an art opening and he was very loquacious and interested to hear about the other collections that we had attended to. He wasn’t jealous, just really into art collecting. When I told him that we had been moving the Vincent Price collection, he was completely stoked. He was a good guy and didn’t treat us art movers like shit, unlike some other collectors.


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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.