London Art Reviews

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David Bailey exhibition announced at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

David Bailey exhibition announced at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

David Franchi – Wednesday, 8th january 2014

A major exhibition of photographer David Bailey is announced to open, at the National Portrait Gallery, London“Bailey’s Stardust” is set to be open the next 6th February for the Spring Season 2014.

Kate Moss by David Bailey, 2013 © David Bailey.

Kate Moss by David Bailey, 2013 © David Bailey.

Selected by the photographer himself, “Bailey’s Stardust” will be one of the Gallery’s largest scale photography exhibitions, with over 250 portraits occupying most of its ground floor. It will display new works – including a portrait of Kate Moss exhibited for the first time – together with previously unseen portraits such as images from Bailey’s 2012 travels to the Naga Hills (India).

Sandy Nairne, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, said: “It’s really a major event for us, an opportunity to enjoy the portraits of this important photographer.”

David Bailey, in fact, is one of the world’s most renowned and unique photographers, who gave an important contribution to the visual arts. He constantly produced original and stimulating portraits. “Bailey’s Stardust” exhibition will focus on the artist 50 years long career, and it will show different kinds of his images.

Bailey’s Stardust” is structured thematically, with iconic images presented alongside many lesser-known portraits, its title reflecting the notion that we are all made from, and return to, ‘stardust’. Portraits of a wide range of sitters – from the glamorous to the impoverished, the famous to the notorious – are presented in a series of contrasting rooms, and through images of skulls and pregnancy, powerful meditations on birth and death.

Bailey will be making new silver gelatin prints of his black-and-white portraits especially for the exhibition.

There will be rooms devoted to Bailey’s travels in Australia, Delhi and the Naga Hills as well as icons from the worlds of fashion and

Mick Jagger by David Bailey, 1964 © David Bailey

Mick Jagger by David Bailey, 1964 © David Bailey

the arts, and people of the East End of London. There will be selections from two of Bailey’s most acclaimed bodies of work: the Box of Pin-Ups, which helped define the 1960s through arresting studies of key figures, and Bailey’s Democracy, in which people visiting his studio were asked if they would agree to be photographed naked.

“Bailey’s Stardust” will presents rooms devoted to the artist’s travels in Australia, Delhi and the Naga Hills as well as icons from the worlds of fashion and the arts, and people of the East End of London. There will be selections from the best known artist “Box of Pin-Ups” and “Bailey’s Democracy”, together with rooms on portraits of The Rolling Stones, Catherine Bailey, documentary photographs from Papua New Guinea (1974) and images of East Africa taken in support of the Band Aid charity (1985).

David Bailey personally selected the portraits to be shown: “Each room is more of a story in itself. Looking at pictures is not enough”, he said.

But from where “Bailey’s Stardust” takes its name? The photographer himself explained to Nairne: “You (ed. the National Portrait Gallery) didn’t like it at first. Stardust is my favourite song ever. Also, Hindus have this philosophy, we are all part of something from the universe, one of them told me in 1960s when explain about some stones. It’s like to have been always around.”

David Bailey is born in Leytonstone, London (2nd January 1938), from a working – class family. He became the best known photographer of his generation. He contributed to define the scene of the swinging London in the 1960s, thus becoming world renowned. Bailey worked for Vogue and other major fashion magazines. The cult movie “Blow Up” (1966), by Antonioni, was inspired by Bailey life.

Explaining his work, Bailey said: “It’s not a great work, it’s been there. ‘Making’ pictures is not ‘taking’ pictures.”

“Bailey’s Stardust” will be at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 6th February until 1st June 2014.

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This entry was posted on January 8, 2014 by in Museums, Reviews and tagged , , , , .

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