David Bailey - Bailey’s Stardust, National Portrait Gallery
To start with, this is a different sort of exhibition. It is curated by the artist itself. David Bailey has carefully and methodically laid out each room exactly as he wants to.
His room of portraits dedicated to Catherine Bailey and his family is laid out more like a family home, photographs dotted across the walls all in an apparent higgledy piggledy fashion.
Whereas this is at odds with the room that has photographs from the series Box of Pin-Ups where the big photographs are the main focus.
This exhibition reveals a side to Bailey that hasn’t always been clear, his side of adventure, to the Sudan, Papa New Guinea and Delhi. These photographs almost steal the show from the classic, the images of Marianne Faithfull and the Rolling Stones.
If there is one criticism of this (some may call it a retrospective), it is that it is almost overwhelming, there are almost too many photographs. This is, as revealed by the National Portrait Gallery, their largest ever exhibition.
The odd portrait still steals focus such as Bailey’s Mandela, however perhaps there needs to be more space.
However this exhibition really is special and the title Stardust is perfectly fitting.
Bailey’s Stardust is on display at the National Portrait Gallery until June 1st.
Link: National Portrait Gallery David Bailey Bailey’s Stardust