David Bailey is one of those figures in contemporary art whose work is well known by most, even when we might not know who he is. Those pictures may be used everywhere, from the cover of a magazine to merchandising to TV. I have recently seen some of those pictures at the David Bayley’s Stardust exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Watch the video below.
I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, as the portraits had personally been chosen by David Bailey himself and we could see a more personal side of the artist. The pictures were organised thematically and in a clear manner, which is a plus for the visitors and a says a lot about the curators. He’s taken so many pictures over the years!
We could see icons – musicians, writers, dancers. But, also so many others who are totally unknown, such as tribe people as part of his travels to Papua New Guinnea. I personally loved the area dedicated to the famine in Africa. Bailey helped Band Aid to raise awareness of the sadly famous famine in Africa in 1980’s. Looking at them, I struggled not to become emotional.
However, my favourites have to be the pictures he took of the Stones. If you’re a fan, remember the cover of Goats Head Soup or the poster for Get Yer Ya-Yas Out? I wish I could buy some good prints of them!
Something that I found interesting is how much he likes models Jean Shrimpton (Jagger dated her sister in 1960’s – surprise, surprise…) and Kate Moss. I have read similar opinions from other people, and they all seem to agree in two things. One, that Jean had a ‘democratic’ beauty, ie, liked by everyone. Secondly, the reason why they are successful – because everybody loves them. If true, there might be a lesson to learn here.
Here’s a short video (just over three minutes), where David Bailey also talks about beauty, his work and mentions this exhibition. It was made by Jamie Roberts. Enjoy!
I’m hoping so much that the price of his Rock and Roll Heroes and the book from this exhibition go down a bit now.
Thanks for reading my post today.
A Londoner from Afar