Venice Beach Rock Festival. California, 1968.
This image is taken from Dennis Stock’s remarkable 99 black-and-white photographs, which are the result of the author’s travels through the unique state of California during the1960s. Traversing the state from Sacramento to San Diego, Stock says of this collection, “Even though I found the sun and fog, sand and Sierras which conveyed a firm image of stark reality, the mother vision of life, the state seemed unreal. The people were conducting layers and dimensions of life that unsettled me. Surrealism was everywhere, the juxtapositions of relative levels of reality projected chaos. For the young man with traditional concerns for a spiritual and aesthetic order, California seemed too unreal. I ran.” This classic photo essay on California captures the contrasts of the state and its people, from the mountains of the Sierras to the sands of the coast, from the people on a spiritual quest to those doing research at the cutting-edge of technology, all during time of intense political, cultural, and social exploration in America’s history.