Bronx-born Dennis Stock passed away this Tuesday at the age of 81. Shooting for Magnum Photos for over 50 years, his body of work is most notable for his images of jazz greats and Hollywood celebrities, especially his iconic images of James Dean taken just prior to his death in 1955. One of my favorite series of his are the images on the set of “The Planet of The Apes” movie. I will search for more of those images and post them soon.
James Dean in Times Square, 1955 © Dennis Stock
A very famous photograph of James Dean taken in Times Square in 1955. He is walking in the rain, cigarette dangling from his lips, the beauty of 1950’s New York in varying shades of black and grey — foggy, misty and utterly compelling — in short a perfect picture… perfect composition, perfect subject, perfect era, perfect mood.
-Gail Levin, filmmaker
John Updike, Massachusetts, 1962 © Dennis Stock / Magnum
Art is a well-articulated manifestation of an aspect of life. I have been privileged to view much of life through my cameras, making the journey an enlightened experience. My emphasis has mainly been on affirmative reactions to human behavior and a strong attraction to the beauty in nature.
– Dennis Stock
New York City, 1959 © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos
Cafe de Flore © Dennis Stock
I’ve never taken an assignment. I’ve always photographed what I wanted to be photographing, and then worried about selling the pictures or doing something with them afterwards. I’ve always shot for myself, and when you’re shooting what you’re interested in shooting, you’re always going to be happy.
– Dennis Stock
NEW YORK CITY—Audrey Hepburn during the filming of Sabrina by Billy Wilder, 1954. © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos
UNITED STATES—Marilyn Monroe watching the filming of Desirée, 1953. © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos
PHILADELPHIA—Louis Armstrong during the last minute of concentration in the wings before appearing in public, 1958. © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos
Miles Davis, Birdland, New York City, 1958. © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos
FAIRMOUNT, Ind.—James Dean on the farm of his uncle Marcus Winslow, posing with a pig and asking himself, "Do I belong to the animals, to the pigs, the cattle, or the goats?" 1955. © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos
CALIFORNIA—A surfer at Corona del Mar, 1968. © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos
Discovery, which is the heartbeat of good photography, occurs more readily when the photographer relinquishes self-consciousness for a state of humility and childlike wonderment. Then there is a greater freshness and purity in what you capture on film.
LOS ANGELES—Playa del Rey, 1968. © Dennis Stock / Magnum Photos