Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Art of Dennis Hopper

Mike Foldes

I see Dennis Hopper's art collection is scheduled for auction at Christie’s.
I wonder if anyone dressed in blue velvet will ride in on a Harley,
and if she does, will she also wear a clear plastic mask hooked up
to a canister of nitrous oxide slung over her shoulder, and will she also have
a bandoleer of poppers to snap under the noses of climaxing bidders?
Dennis, old man, you were indeed the bad boy, you and James,
and Sal and Peter and Jack. Will there ever be another your equal
for suburban anarchist youths to model themselves after – even as they,
like you, become aging hipsters?  One by one the old guard
is replaced by the new, but not all will be survivors, as you were,
to finally find yourself hawking financially sound Ameriprise investments 
to septuagenarian peers, an irony sharp enough to cut through Rothko,
Rivers, Rauschenberg and other radical contemporaries you lived with
in your head and on your walls. So, Hopper’s collection is up for grabs.
That’s what happens, you know, the great works, the enduring ones,
just go shuffling about, house to house, room to room, wall to wall
at the will of the money changers. But at this stage of the game,
where hangs the art of Dennis Hopper is not in the living room,
but in that room for living -- not to be traded off for anything.

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Mike Foldes is the founder and managing editor of Ragazine, an online literary magazine.

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Mike is also the author of Sleeping Dogs, A true story of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping
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