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Sunday September 8, 2013 MYT 2:05:00 PM
Sunday September 8, 2013 MYT 8:15:06 AM
by mark brown
A screen grab of some of photographer David Bailey's work.
The famous photographer’s Stardust will be at the National Portrait Gallery in London next year.
David Bailey is to take over most of London’s National Portrait Gallery’s ground floor next year when he exhibits more than 250 photographs ranging from some of the defining images of the swinging 60s to work from travels in the Naga hills of India.
The gallery in London earlier announced details of what is one of its biggest ever photography shows, taking up space on a scale comparable to its shows of Lucian Freud portraits last year and works by David Hockney in 2006.
Bailey has chosen the portraits himself and said he could have come up with 10 similar shows and not overlapped.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said the 75-year-old photographer.
The exhibition will include portraits from the worlds of entertainment, fashion and politics, with rooms devoted to his wife, Catherine Dyer, the Rolling Stones and documentary photographs taken to support Band Aid in 1985 after the devastating Ethiopian famine.
Images in the show will include a striking portrait of Kate Moss, with big hair all over the place and Jerry Hall with Helmut Newton.
Bailey was in typically spirited form at the show’s launch in London, expressing irritation at one reporter’s question about Hugo Boss being the exhibition sponsor, given it supplied the Nazis with uniforms. Bailey replied: “I’ve got two Mercedes cars, endless Hasselblads and I listen to Wagner, so you work it out mate.”
The NPG’s director, Sandy Nairne, was more diplomatic, stressing how pleased it was to have Hugo Boss on board. “I’m well aware over a long period how questions have been raised about Hugo Boss and history but they have been investigated and answered, if I may say so, very responsibly by the company over a long period.”
Bailey said it was important to ensure portrait subjects felt good about themselves and were never bored, although he enjoyed it when people were in a bad mood, citing the example of the director Oliver Stone.
“I’ve never liked his movies ... sort of carry on up your bum movies, aren’t they really,” he said. Stone, he added, dashed in to the photoshoot saying he only had five minutes, so Bailey took one photo and that was it.
“I said, ‘Well you’ve only got five minutes, now you’ve got four’. He stayed all day, he was a really nice fella.”
The exhibition will be called Bailey’s Stardust after his favourite song, by Hoagy Carmichael. Nairne said the show was a major event for the gallery and particularly pleasing because the NPG was the first public gallery to show Bailey’s photographs, at an exhibition called Snap in 1971.
There are still some people who question photography’s status as an artform, and Bailey bristled when asked about it yesterday. “Photography is not art and painting’s not art,” he said.
“It’s whether the person who’s doing it is an artist. So up your bum: I’m an artist.” —Guardian News & Media
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Entertainment, Arts, David Baily, Exhibition, Photographer
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