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David Bailey

David Bailey

David Bailey is a British artist and photographer, known for his spontaneous and direct fashion and portrait photography. One of the first celebrity photographers, Bailey made his name moulding the image of Swinging Sixties London with his stripped back, intimate shots of models, actors and musicians. Across media, from his photographs to his more recent sculptures and paintings, Bailey distils his subjects to their essence.

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NEWS

7 Highlights at Photo London’s 9th Edition.

7 Highlights at Photo London’s 9th Edition.

FAD Magazine · 16 May, 2024 @ 22:05

Photo London takes over the iconic Somerset House, with established galleries and curators exhibiting in the central pavilion and main building, while the Discovery section in the basement, curated by Charlotte Jansen, is dedicated to ‘positions’, featuring 5 unrepresented photographers supported by collectors and patrons.

Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney

Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney

Artlyst · 14 May, 2024 @ 08:41

A new photography exhibition featuring the workds of David Bailey and Mary McCartney bringing the works of these two major British photographers into direct dialogue for the first time in the unique John Pawson designed space.

Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney at Claridge's Art Space

Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney at Claridge's Art Space

FAD Magazine · 08 May, 2024 @ 05:11

Claridge’s ArtSpace, located in the heart of Mayfair, is delighted to announce Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney, a new photography exhibition bringing the works of these two major British photographers into direct dialogue for the first time

 

About the Artist

David Bailey is a British artist and photographer, known for his spontaneous and direct fashion and portrait photography. One of the first celebrity photographers, Bailey made his name moulding the image of Swinging Sixties London with his stripped back, intimate shots of models, actors and musicians. Across media, from his photographs to his more recent sculptures and paintings, Bailey distils his subjects to their essence.

Born in 1938, Bailey grew up in London’s East End. He began taking photos when he bought a Rolleiflex camera when serving with the Royal Air Force in Singapore, 1956. When he returned to London in 1958, he began a career in photography. By 1960, he was contracted to work as a fashion photographer for Vogue, propelling him to the heart of 60s fashion and culture.

Bailey captured and created the image of 1960s London, becoming one of the era’s most sought-after photographers – a time encapsulated by his celebrity portraits gathered in Box of Pin-Ups (1964). His photos captured the raw, youthful energy of the 1960s scene. Typically depicting his subjects without props, and often against a plain white background, Bailey sought, in his own words, to “take everything out till you’ve just got the person’s personality.” From his closely cropped portraits of Mick Jagger in a fur hood (1964) and Michael Caine in his signature black glasses, cigarette to his lips (1965), to Jean Shrimpton on Tower Bridge (1964), his images are as iconic today as the people they captured. Stripping away the artifice of studio photography Bailey instigated, in his words, “a different way of looking at things. A more natural way.”

Bailey remained an influential figure in portrait photography, his subjects ranging from polaroids of tribal elders in Papua New Guinea (1974) to an intimate portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, captured smiling in 2014. Yet his signature immediacy also translates into his work beyond portraiture, in his television commercials and documentaries, produced after 1966, and album covers.

Bailey’s later experimental and abstract photography has also pushed the boundaries of his craft. In 2008, he began a series of vanitas-style assemblages, including Skull and blue roses (2008) and Skull, Keys, Hydrangea (2009). Returning to this subject, Bailey produced photos of animal skulls for the David Bailey: Sculpture + exhibition at Pangolin Gallery, London, 2010. Shot from unconventional angles, Bailey presents each skull as a new, alien form.

Branching into new media, Bailey’s cast silver and bronze sculptures combine objects into almost anthropological forms. Just as he incorporates areas of high relief into his paintings, often formed from household objects, during the last decade, he has made boxes, dioramic narratives composed of a mixture of nostalgic items. Like his photographs, Baileys sculptures and mixed media works strip back forms to their essence and present a fresh perspective on the familiar. Some his paintings and mixed media works were exhibited at Scream Gallery in 2011.

Bailey’s intimate and honest portrait photography redefined the genre, making him a go-to photographer for celebrities, artists, and world leaders. His raw, spontaneous images continue to inspire new generations of photographers.

Interested in David Bailey?