Thursday, October 7, 2010
HIHO Magazine Dennis Hopper
Yesterday I received a package from Japan, a gift of the book "Little Boy, The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture" edited by Takashi Murakami along with a copy of the November 2010 Japanese magazine HIHO. On the cover in case you don't recognize him is Dennis Hopper.
The article is entitled "Dennis Hopper Last Trip to Taos" by Masayuki Kawakatsu. This past Summer, Masa requested that I take him to a few of the places around Taos having to do with D.H. Lawrence and Dennis Hopper. To keep things short here I'll save my thoughts on this tour for another post.
Masa had gotten to know Mr. Hopper when Dennis visited Japan a few years ago, he was taking photographs there and Masa arranged an exhibit of these Hopper photographs of Japan, along with producing a catalogue of the exhibit which is long out of print. Having missed the funeral at San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos, Masa made a special trip to visit the gravesite here, asking me to take him to the site. The Hopper family had requested that the community not reveal the site of Mr. Hopper's burial, and it is with great respect that we do not tell people where this is, but as Masa himself had befriended Mr. Hopper, I believed this was an exception, and acceptable to the family. The 2 page magazine spread above is a photo of me at the graveyard, this may be one of the best photographs of me in a very long time.
The trip also included a stop in LA to view the exhibition at LA MOCA curated by Julian Schnabel, (in his great kindness Masa also brought me a copy of this catalogue).
At the gravesite I left Masa to himself for his own reflection and prayer, he left a large bouquet of flowers and we left stones on the burial mound. On these pages are the photograph by Doug Magnus of Mr. Hopper in the kitchen at Mabel Dodge Luhan House where Hopper lived in the 70's, the photograph was purchased from The Plaza Gallery here in Ranchos. There are also photos of the beautiful San Francisco de Asis Church, the Hopper House, where the movie Backtrack was filmed in 1990 and some 'easy riders' out on the trail.
While here in Taos Masa was also able to make arrangements to visit and interview Robert Dean Stockwell, the magazine spread which you can see below. Masayuki Kawakatsu has written a great tribute to Dennis Hopper, and a wonderful interview with Mr. Stockwell, he has honored them both and I am honored to have spent a bit of time with him.
Thank you very much Masa!
Postscript: It is with utter sadness that I tell you Masa has died in a housefire at his home in Japan, January 31, 2012. His publisher contacted me to tell me the sad news. I have only to say that it was a great pleasure to be in his company during his last visit to Taos.