Bailey's Stardust

Art, Photography
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David Bailey ('Mick Jagger', 1964)
'Mick Jagger', 1964

© David Bailey

David Bailey ('Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton, Cannes', 1983)
'Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton, Cannes', 1983

© David Bailey

David Bailey ('Kate Moss', 2013)
'Kate Moss', 2013

© David Bailey

David Bailey (From the series 'Nagaland', 2012)
From the series 'Nagaland', 2012

© David Bailey

David Bailey ('Francis Bacon', 1983)
'Francis Bacon', 1983

© David Bailey

The man responsible for capturing the swinging 60s and creating some of the most iconic fashion images of the past fifty years selects over 250 portraits from famous sitters to unknowns. Organised thematically, the show will take you on a journey through rock and roll London all the way to Papua New Guinea showing the variety of Bailey’s lens.


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Curated London
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David Bailey really has sprinkled stardust across the National Portrait Gallery in this retrospective of more than 50 years of his photography. The show takes you from his early East End portraits, via highlights such as his 1960s ‘pin-ups’ series and his harrowing photos of Ethiopian refugees in Sudan in 1984, to some brand new shots of one of his many muses, Kate Moss. His main muse, since the 1980s at least, is Catherine Bailey, his wife and mother of their three children. She features prominently and proudly in an intimate collection of family photos. Some might be a little too intimate; there are a couple of shots of their newly-born babies that are not for the squeamish. While most of the show is in Bailey’s trademark black and white, there’s some strikingly bright colour photography. A series of photos taken on a phone camera takes the viewer by surprise. It highlights how, while technology allows us all a chance to be a little bit like David Bailey, he still does it best. There are some discordant notes. Some of the photos are hung haphazardly, so that your eye doesn’t sweep smoothly across them. Even more surprising are three sculptures, looking too much like the Chapman Brothers’ Family Collection. One of these, Dead Andy, depicts Andy Warhol’s unmistakeable head emerging from an empty (Campbell’s soup?) can. But then Bailey worked with Andy, even sharing a bed with him for a photo shoot. He’s worked with everyone. And the proof is here in this amazing exhibition. For more of the latest art news and reviews, check out

Christine Burridge

He showed us a different kind of photography in the 60's. Saw pictures in his minds eye, and made them happen and has retained the public interest ever since.

he not only can press the shutter but he can work in the darkroom as well ,a very talented photographer and one of the best ,I would like to see more documentary's on bailey on TV . He always seems happy and is a real cockney geezer .I would like to meet him before one of us kicks the bucket .....good luck with your show ,all the best essexcockney