Julian Schnabel defends his friend Dennis Hopper from accusations that the actor, photographer and art collector was a dilettante, in Jori Finkel’s excellent story in the Los Angeles Times:
“What is a dilettante anyway?” he continued. “How hard is it to be an actor and wait for directors to get a job? Are you a dilettante because you do what you want, or a professional because you’re getting paid?”
He went on to describe Hopper as a conceptual artist with a painter’s eye, who saw paintings in everyday life. He glanced at a wall of new photographs: color-drenched digital images printed on aluminum, “taken right from Dennis’ camera” and printed for the show. These shots, like a close-up of a building wall painted a brilliant red, verge on painterly abstraction.
And they are not all that different than Hopper’s films in their intensity of vision, Schnabel suggested. He singled out the psychedelic LSD-fueled cemetery scene in “Easy Rider” as a sort of matrix containing all of the basic elements in Hopper’s visual art.
“It’s all there — the iconography, the color, the violence, the transcendental quality,” he said.
“This is not a film that you could make from a script,” he added. “It’s a diving board.”
Then, a few minutes later, he added, “Is this the film of a dilettante?”
Dennis Hopper’s Art Reflects His Free Spirit (Los Angeles Times)