Bailey’s Stardust

By Jo Phillips

Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton, Cannes by David Bailey 1983
Image: Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton, Cannes by David Bailey, 1983. Copyright: David Bailey

On September 5th a new David Bailey exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery was announced. Although Bailey is a renowned photographer with a distinguished career spanning over 5 decades, the exhibition beginning in February 2014 will be a first for the man associated with capturing some of the most influential figures in music, fashion, art, film and culture. Although Bailey has been featured in museums and galleries worldwide, this exhibition not only shows some of his most famous work featuring The Beatles, Kate Moss, and notorious London gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, to name but a few, but also his work from his most recent projects including his 2012 trip to India. Beginning with his work in the heyday of Swinging 60’s London, the exhibition features over 250 photographs chosen specifically by Bailey. Bailey is also transferring his black-and-white photographs into silver gelatin prints for the occasion.

From the series Nagaland by David Bailey 2012
From the series Nagaland by David Bailey, 2012. Copyright: David Bailey

The exhibition has been curated thematically by room in order to accentuate the range of his portraiture; the rooms capture the breadth of his subjects, which range from the ultra famous to the obscure, all of them brilliantly revealed by Bailey‘s lens. The organization of the exhibition is based in the concept that we all eventually return to ‘stardust’, regardless of our earthly trappings.

The exhibition will run until June 1st 2014, and spans most of the ground floor of The National Portrait Gallery.

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