Although Stock has been associated with Magnum Photos since 1951 and his work has been collected in numerous books (California Trip; Jazz Street), he remains best known for his unforgettable b&w photographs of Dean, which soared beyond routine celebrity shots. Stock's photo essay in Life, "Moody New Star," attracted attention the same week East of Eden opened in 1955, and in the years since, his photos of Dean have resurfaced in magazines, books and exhibitions. Published on the 50th anniversary of Dean's death, this collection of 80 duotones recaptures the few weeks in 1954 Stock spent with the actor in New York and his Fairmount, Ind., hometown before the two flew back to L.A. for the filming of Rebel Without a Cause. Hyams (James Dean: Little Boy Lost) calls the haunting shot of Dean alone in a rainy Times Square "one of the foremost iconic images of the 20th century." A surreal scene at the Fairmount farm shows Dean banging bongo drums for an audience of cows and pigs, and a peek inside an Actors Studio session is a rarity since Lee Strasberg "almost never let anyone photograph his classes." Stock's own brief memoir of his friendship with Dean is well written, evocative and insightful. (Aug.)
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Early in 1955, Stock, already an established photojournalist, was introduced to a young actor at a Hollywood party. Stock agreed to meet him again after a preview of an about-to-be-released movie he was in. The movie was East of Eden, the actor James Dean, and the performance blew Stock away. He arranged an assignment from Life, and in February accompanied Dean to his Indiana hometown and the farm on which he grew up in the care of his mother's sister and her husband. The pictures made then, others of Dean in New York, which he adored, and on the set of Rebel without a Cause, and a memoir and captions by Stock (Dean biographer Joe Hyams contributes an introduction) make up this gorgeous book. Stock is a superb photographer, who, though given a supremely photogenic subject in Dean, nearly always presents an image that would be stunning even if Dean weren't in it. The combination of charismatic subject and engaging context eventuate in an impressive album of photographic art. Ray Olson
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