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).
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