The magic of David Bailey

The shutterbug has an epic retrospective at London’s National Portrait Gallery

  • David Bailey or ‘Big Bad Bailey’ as he was affectionately known, was a poster child for the Swinging ’60s, his promiscuity well-documented (and decried). But when he wasn’t pissing off feminists and grumbling in print, the artist from East London (who was already shooting American fashion covers at 26) captured celebrities – John Lennon, Jean Shrimpton (Bailey’s then girlfriend), Catherine Deneuve (his second wife), The Beatles, Mick Jagger – in a way that made them near-mythical. Though he’s renowned for his black-and-whites, the 76-year-old photographer’s life and work have been nothing but colourful. 

    On money: “I go to work every day, and that’s no way to make money. To get rich, you have to be making money while you’re asleep.” – The Independent, 1998

    On women: “It was a bit of fun, really. I got used, they got used. I had a terrible time in the ’70s with all those silly feminists.” – Living The Life, 2012

    On age: “My biggest disappointment? I hate getting old. All that bollocks about the golden age.” – The Guardian, 2013

    Bailey's Stardust is on till June 1, 2014 at The National Portrait Gallery, London.


    Mick Jagger, 1964 (picture above)


     Click through the gallery above for more

  • Self-portrait during National Service in Singapore, 1957

  • Francis Bacon, 1983 


  • Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton, Cannes, 1983 

  • Jack Nicholson, 1978 

  • Catherine Bailey, 1989

  • From the series ‘Nagaland’, 2012