Xerjoff Magazine

David Bailey: from London’s east end to the world

Writer

A precious limited edition retrospective published by Taschen, gathering David Bailey’s photographic production presenting portraits of celebrities such as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jean Shrimpton, Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol, Salvador Dalí, Catherine Deneuve

David Bailey is a man of humble origins, and a long career; he is now 81 years old, and has become one of the most respected international photographers.

Posing for him, the most important stars of music, cinema, art and fashion; he also portrayed the Queen of England for her 86th birthday in 2014. Bailey was born in a working-class neighbourhood in London’s East End, and he approached photography as a self-taught person. After working as an assistant for various photographic studios in the 60’s, he began his success becoming the fashion photographer for Vogue UK and working as a freelance photographer for Elle, Glamor, Daily Express, Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. He was of inspiration for the famous Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, who in the film Blow-up portrayed a photographer (interpreted by David Hemmings) who, tired of being surrounded by attractive models, proposes to create a reportage on the “real-life” London.

Now, to celebrate Bailey’s glorious career, Taschen has published a limited “sumo sized” edition in 2700 copies gathering portraits from the 1950’s to the 2010’s. Great is the variety of photographed subjects (about 300) ranging from Nelson Mandela, the Beatles, the Queen, Salvador Dalí, Bill Gates, and Yves Saint Laurent.

Above: David Bailey, Mick Jagger, Fur Hood (Detail), 1964 © David Bailey