Determining the perfect exposure time for a photographic print in a traditional darkroom can be a time-consuming and tedious process, and the irreverent David Bailey (born 1938) has never had much patience for it. Normally a photographer makes a number of test strips, each showing different exposure times; but Bailey has always just intuitively torn off strips of the unexposed paper to find the desired result: "I would usually have it in the bag after three tears." Over the decades, Bailey has kept his "test tears," re-fixing and washing them to preserve the unpredictable and unique qualities of these "accidents." This book contains the best of Bailey's tears, which transform some of his most famous motifs into fascinating abstract pictures through their torn edges and myriad tones.
For this exclusive collection of postcards, David Bailey (born 1938), one of the world’s most distinguished and distinctive photographers, has chosen a selection of images from his archive--some familiar, others previously unseen. This box of 36 portraits, reminiscent of Bailey’s acclaimed Box of Pin-Ups (1965), demonstrates the extraordinary range of people that he has captured during his long career--many of them famous, some anonymous, all of them unforgettable. Beautifully presented in a gift box with a drawer and an acetate slipcase, Bailey’s Box of Postcards includes portraits of celebrities such as Michael Caine, Jean Shrimpton, Marianne Faithful, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan, Damon Albarn, David Bowie, Jack Nicholson, Man Ray, Salvador Dalí, Jane Birkin, Vivienne Westwood, Beyoncé and Desmond Tutu.
Published by Steidl. Text by David Bailey. Interview with Monte Packham.
The idea for a book on the East End formed sometime in the 1980s. The London Docks had already closed down or were starting to. I chose to shoot mainly in the districts of Silvertown and Canning Town. I have over the years spent many weekends shooting whatever took my fancy. The other two times I had bursts of photographic energy in the East End were in the 1960s and from about 2004 to 2010. These were my three key periods to draw pictures from, instead of just trolling through the last 50 years of archives. In the late 1940s and early 1950s I heard a quote on the radio, 'Go west, young man.' At the time I didn't give it much thought. Later I assumed it was from America and that it went back to the middle of the nineteenth century, when America's west coast was opening up to great wealth and opportunities. The cockneys should have listened, but they didn't. They went east like their ancestors before them. The ones that moved east out of 'Old Nichol' went to Whitechapel, then on to Stepney and Bow, then to what is now called Newham and later to Barking, Dagenham and onto Essex. My mother was from Bow, my father it seems was from Hackney, my grandfather from Bethnal Green. Before him they all were from Whitechapel as far as records show. --David Bailey
If David Bailey was the quintessential London photographer of the Swinging Sixties, the photographs he produced in the 1970s reflect a radical reorientation. As can be seen in this selection, his subject matter became truly international. Throughout the decade, Bailey determined to photograph peoples and places across the world that fascinated him. Alongside these photographs, this volume presents images from his 1970s fashion sittings (featuring Marie Helvin, Penelope Tree and Anjelica Huston), as well as his portraits of subjects ranging from Salvador Dali and Mick Jagger to Margaret Thatcher and Mother Teresa. His acclaimed television documentaries on Andy Warhol, Cecil Beaton and Luchino Visconti provided yet more opportunities for compelling stills.
This book combines David Bailey's recent color photographs of still-life flowers and skulls with black-and-white contacts of his iconic celebrity portraiture and fashion work from the 1960s. One might analyze Bailey's combination of these bodies of work in light of the vanitas tradition, seeing it as a commentary on mortality and the passing of time. Indeed such a reading is tempting when comparing images of wilting roses with contacts of Brian Jones and John Lennon, both of whom appear confident in the prime of youth, unaware of the fates that will befall them. But perhaps this is too much, and Bailey himself would probably tell you so. For him, the flowers, skulls and contacts are simply different projects that he was working on simultaneously and decided to combine because he likes the idea of eclectic collections. Enough said.
Published by National Portrait Gallery. Introduction by Tim Marlow.
The portraits in this book have been personally selected by David Bailey from the wide range of subjects and groups that he has captured over the last five decades: actors, writers, musicians, politicians, filmmakers, models, artists and people encountered on his travels to Australia, India, Sudan and Papua New Guinea; many of them famous, some unknown, all of them engaging and memorable. Bailey’s Stardust is accompanied by a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in Spring 2014, which will then tour to international venues. The book, like the exhibition, is structured thematically, with iconic images presented alongside many lesser-known and previously unseen portraits. Initially engaged as an assistant to John French in 1959, Bailey was contracted by British Vogue the following year. He has since worked for the French, Italian and American editions of the magazine, created album sleeves for musicians such as the Rolling Stones, directed television commercials and made documentary films, including in-depth studies of Cecil Beaton, Luchino Visconti and Andy Warhol. Bailey’s photographs helped to define the cultural and social scene of the 1960s, and immortalizing figures from the worlds of fashion, music, film and art elevated Bailey to the status of celebrity himself. Michelangelo Antonioni’s cult film Blow-Up (1966), about a London fashion photographer, was inspired by Bailey, whose life was also dramatized recently in the film We’ll Take Manhattan (2012).
How does one photograph Delhi without the results looking like clichéd, tourist-friendly images taken from the pages of a holiday brochure? And how does a photographer of David Bailey's standing portray India without seeming condescending? These questions are at the heart of Bailey's new two-volume book, The Delhi Dilemma. Bailey, one of the most successful photographers of his generation, has traveled to India 15 times, and in this new series of photographs he avoids focusing on those cultural and economic differences between East and West that might make photos of the country appear overly didactic. Instead, he depicts the colors, textures and characters that make Delhi unique—a magenta sari, an infant walking alone on a rust-colored road, a bright blue plastic tarpaulin—and so creates a portrait of the city that is sensitive without being self-indulgent.
The premise of this book couldn't be simpler: 130 photographs of British bad boy artist Damien Hirst by the great British fashion photographer David Bailey, taken during a single shoot lasting eight minutes. Famed as the inspiration for the swinging 60s photographer character in Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blow Up (1966), Bailey was one of the first fashion photographers to merge with rock coterie and the international jet set. In this series of portraits, each pose is spontaneous and determined not by Bailey but by Hirst, who sticks his tongue out, mocking the camera. These photos are unrehearsed, in the spirit of Bailey's recent work, which is characterized by an easy relationship with composition and lighting and no digital manipulation. With no text or even a title page, 8 Minutes resists the familiar, formulaic style of the usual coffee table book. Always the rogue, Bailey's message is "what you see is what you get."
As the title of David Bailey's earlier monograph Bailey's Democracy suggests, the legendary British photographer likes to bring the same quality of attention to each of his subjects, irrespective of their fame or reputation: "I treat the boy down at the post office like the president of Russia, and the president of Russia like the boy down at the post office." David Bailey's Eye presents a choice selection of Bailey's photographs--mostly in black-and-white, some in color--spanning the years between 1962 and 2008, the breadth of Bailey's career. His egalitarian stance, often indicated by a conspicuous absence of props and a minimal approach to lighting, enables the photographer to tease from his subjects traits which more formal portraits would lack: the warm benevolence of I.M. Pei for example, the exuberance of John Galliano or the brooding look of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Bailey's eye surveys the gamut of humankind, from celebrities to people far from celebrity orbits, examining each of his subjects for the moment when the person steps forward and becomes a great portrait. Among Bailey's better-known subjects in Eye are Andy Warhol, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Yves Saint Laurent, John Huston and Ellsworth Kelly. With cover art (a painted eye) by Damien Hirst, this volume reveals unexpected facets of many of the creative minds who have defined the culture in which we live.
David Bailey was the model for the swinging playboy photographer in Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic 1966 film, Blow-Up. Born in London in 1938, Bailey had, by 1960, become the first celebrity photographer--known especially for his revolutionary work for Vogue, and for the fact that he socialized with actors, musicians and royalty. His many influential books include, Trouble and Strife (1980), Nudes (1984), If We Shadows (1991), The Lady Is a Tramp (1995) and Rock ’n’ Roll Heroes (1997). Bailey’s Box of Pin-Ups (1964)--a box of posters of London celebrities like Terence Stamp, The Beatles and the notorious East End gangsters, The Kray Twins--remains an extremely influential publication for its then-odd close cropping of the subjects’ heads, which has since become a common technique in fashion photography, in order to give the illusion that the model is larger than life. In 1973, Bailey did all his major fashion shoots for British Vogue with actress and, at that time, occasional model, Anjelica Huston. This irresistible volume chronicles the duo's fiery photographic collaboration. The title, “Is That So Kid,” is borrowed from Huston's father, film director John Huston’s, trademark retort.
In January 1962, still in his early twenties, photographer David Bailey fulfilled a dream that dated back to his years in Singapore, when he served in the Royal Air Force. Heading to the U.S., home to the jazz music he so admired, Bailey made his first foreign trip for Vogue, accompanied by his model and girlfriend, Jean Shrimpton. The impact of the couple's early collaborations set new standards that helped put Britain back on the world map of popular culture--though at the time, his aesthetic was so controversial that, as a representative of the magazine, Vogue asked him not to wear his leather jacket in the St. Regis Hotel. (Of course he ignored the advice.) The groundbreaking series that Bailey produced with his recently acquired 35mm camera was special. Newly freed from the confines of the studio, he shot rapidly on the streets and recorded the pioneer moment just before meeting Andy Warhol, and a year before his friends the Rolling Stones launched their own transatlantic invasion. Bailey's historic visual breakthrough is manifested in the energy of these images, even as they convey a certain innocence--the photographs of these "absolute beginners" have a charm and freshness that still resonate today.
Mark is good-natured. He finds the best in most things. To explain more would be too much. These are just pictures that Mark can do. Photographer David Bailey is famously a bit more mercurial than the assistant of his title--a massive social force in the 1960s world of Twiggy, Catherine Deneuve, the Beatles and the Who, and a model for the lead in Blow Up. But while he is a master in his medium, he readily accepts that photography is technologically-driven and democratic, and that many family compositions have been taken millions of times, varying only in the identities of their subjects. Bailey also takes such snapshots, images with unusual ease and freedom for him but unusual weight for their ilk. In compiling them, he observed that they seem so easy that even Mark, his assistant, could make them, and the quip became his title. Which is not to say that he doesn't value these photos very highly: Asked to name his best picture in a recent interview, he answered, "Snaps of my kids."
Photographer David Bailey has said, self-deprecatingly, that Havana "is just a superficial look, not a soul-searching investigation, a quick impression of a place that is unique in its geographical position." But he reveals the importance of that quick impression and the depth of his understanding when he describes Havana's "unique position"--with surreal accuracy--as "much closer to the United States of America than the space station is." Both are places ordinary Americans cannot visit. To be one of the poorest nations on Earth, almost within spitting distance of the richest makes the poverty of Cuba seem more extreme. Two countries with extreme ideologies; the small one proving that Communism does not work, the other proving that democratic paranoia does work if the power and the money are in place. Havana makes use of Bailey's mastery of the full range of the medium's many genres, from vibrant street reportage to crystalline portraiture. This is Havana as an icon of one of the most distinct and revealing cultural divides left in a world hurtling toward homogeneity, Havana as seen by a master at the height of his craft. Bound in an embossed leather cover.
Everyone is equal before the law. And anyone who accepted David Bailey's recent invitation to his studio to be photographed in the nude became part of this astonishing book. Bailey laid down some strict rules: he shot all subjects in the same light and without props. Makeup and retouching were shunned. He took six photographs of each person, and selection and composition were his own affair. These rules, his imposed democracy, result in a celebration of the naked body in all its lovely (and not-so-lovely) splendor. Naked, Bailey specifies, not nude: "All that worrying about poncy lighting, making people look like landscapes or rocks. If I wanted to photograph a fucking rock, I'd photograph a fucking rock." And of the project's conception 30 years ago? "This is going to sound pretentious, but I was reading Plato's Republic and I thought, why not Bailey's Democracy? I wanted to do something organic. I didn't cast it, I didn't tell people where to sit or how to stand. They chose their own pose. I didn't worry about Rembrandt lighting or any crap like that. You could almost do it in a photo booth."