Resting in a hippie commune in New Mexico, 1971.
In the latter half of the sixties, a generation with an energy and a vision appeared on the horizon – a dramatic force that brought the American conservative scene to a halt. The young decided to take destiny into their own hands, and shape a future of love and caring. Many groups formed communes throughout the nation.
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.
“The similarity between Van Gogh, Haiku poetry, and good photography is the concern for mortality. That things are very fleeting, that there are people who are more sensitive to death than others. The threat of time is of great concern to them. And the camera is a very appropriate instrument for many.”
– Dennis Stock