Xerjoff Magazine

California Dreamin’


California in the late 1960’s portrayed by photographer Dennis Stock, between hippy counter-culture, demonstrators, concerts, bikers and surfers.

If every great photographer had to choose a photographic symbol, that of Dennis Stock would be the one that portrays James Dean smoking a cigarette while walking in Times Square, Nyc, wrapped up in his coat to protect himself from the biting cold. Dennis Stock’s relationship with the famous actor, resulted in numerous shots published in various books such as “Portrait of a Young Man, James Dean” (1956) and “James Dean: Fifty Years Ago” (2005) . He is a member of the prestigious Magnum Agency since 1951. From 1957 to 1960 he has also made several photos during jazz sessions for artists such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Sidney Bechet, Gene Krupa and Duke Ellington and has collaborated with the fashion world. At the end of the 70’s he travelled to California realizing a faithful reportage of the effervescent socio-cultural climate of the time, including hippies, demonstrations against the Vietnam war, concerts, bikers and surfers, a report published in 1970 in the volume “California Trip” .

Now this volume, a cult object for collectors, is being reprinted by Anthology Editions, giving us the opportunity, through 99 shots, to relive a period in which California – according to the words of Stock – was an interesting laboratory for the future.

Above: San Diego Coastline. California, USA. 1968. © Dennis Stock | Magnum Photos