Dennis Hopper, a self-described “gallery bum

Source: Bloomberg

Dennis Hopper by Warhol

Dennis Hopper loved hanging out at galleries and began his art collecting in the 1950s.

 The article, Dennis Hopper Art Sends Warhol, Basquiat to $10 Million Sale by Lindsay Pollock states that he preferred the new and brash, selecting works by Claes Oldenburg, Richard Prince, John Baldessari, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf and Robert Rauschenberg.  “My idea of collecting is not going out and buying bankable names but buying people that I believe are really contributing something to my artistic life,” said Hopper in a 1999 interview. 

The article continues with: Artworks from the estate of the late actor Dennis Hopper, will be auctioned by Christie’s on Nov. 10 and 11 in New York. In a press release, Christie’s quoted Hopper saying: “I am just a middle-class farm boy from Dodge City. I thought painting, acting, directing and photography was all part of being an artist. I have made my money that way and I have had some fun. It has not been a bad life.”

The collection includes work by Warhol and Basquiat. Christies reports the collection is expected to sell for more than $10 million. “It’s an artist’s collection, it’s not the collection of a banker or mogul. It’s the collection of a creative artist,” said Marc Porter, chairman of Christie’s Americas.

Sale highlights:

Warhol’s 1971 “Portrait of Dennis Hopper,” representing the actor as a soulful cowboy in blues and grays. The 40-inch-square canvas is expected to sell for as much as $1.2 million.

 Jean-Michel Basquiat’s densely filled 1987 “Untitled,” in acrylic, oil stick and graphite, has a high pre-sale estimate of $7 million. The painting had hung in the living room of Hopper’s Frank Gehry-designed Venice Beach, California, home. Hopper said in a 1999 interview that he had paid $17,000 for the painting around 1988, just before Basquiat’s death. Hopper claims he was offered $1 million for the same painting two months after Basquiat’s death.

To contact the reporter on the story: Lindsay Pollock in New York at


About Art Collecting and Investment

Providing news about art collectors, collections and investments. Including the how to's, the why's and the where's of art collecting. Wanda Pepin, Christina Madden and Elaine Frenett are all professional artists who keep up on the world of art, while creating amazing works of art themselves.
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