10 February 2014
A retrospective of 250 photographs, sponsored by Hugo Boss, that comprises different types of portrait made by David Bailey over a career which has lasted more than fifty years: actors, musicians and top models, but also the faces of the indigenous peoples that Bailey has photographed on his journeys in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Africa and India. Different eras and places presented side by side in order to show the evolution of Bailey’s work as well as the changes that have taken place in show business and the art world over the decades, illustrated through a continual succession of new icons and new stars. In Bailey’s pictures style and content seem to merge into a single thing, that gaze into the camera always offered by the thousands and thousands of people he has portrayed. “What makes something a portrait in your opinion?” Bailey was asked in an interview a few years ago. “The basic, generic thing is that someone knows that you’re taking their picture,” was his response.
David Bailey, Bailey’s Stardust
National Portrait Gallery
February 6 – June 1