David Bailey - Photographer
David Bailey, (born Jan. 2, 1938, Leytonstone,
East London, Eng.),
British photographer understood for his fashion, advertising, and
David Bailey, whose profession in photography would eventually bring him into contact with the high reaches of British society, came from a working-class East London background. Educated in London, he left school at a young age, worked at a series of menial jobs, and served with the Royal Air Force in Malaysia in 1957-- 58. Having actually been interested from his young people in painting and photography, in 1959 he apprenticed at the John French Studio, where he became involved in fashion photography. In 1960 he began to photograph for British Vogue, where he worked for about 15 years, first on staff and later as a freelancer. He also freelanced for various other publications and newspapers.
Bailey developed a love of natural history, and this led him into photography. Dealing with undiagnosed dyslexia, he experienced troubles at school. He attended a private school, Clark's College in Ilford, where he says they taught him less than the more fundamental council school.
In 1959 Bailey became a photographic assistant at the John French studio, and in May 1960, he was a photographer for John Cole's Studio Five before being contracted as a fashion photographer for British Vogue magazine later that year. He likewise carried out a huge amount of freelance work.
Bailey's fashion work and star portraiture, distinguisheded by stark backgrounds and dramatic lighting results, transformed British fashion and star photography from trendy however reserved stylization to something more younger and direct. His work reflects the 1960s British cultural trend of breaking down stiff and old class shields by injecting a working-class or "punk" check out both clothing and artistic items. Bailey himself became a celebrity who epitomized "turning London"; he was known for his affairs with a number of popular females, among them the model Jean Shrimpton and the actress Catherine Deneuve, whom he wed in 1965 (separated 1972). He is believed to have actually inspired the part of the photographer, Thomas, in Michelangelo Antonioni's movie Blow-up (1966).
The film Blowup (1966), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, depicts
the life of a
London fashion photographer played by David Hemmings and is largely
based on Bailey.
Bailey also directed television commercials and produced a number of books and documentary. In 1972 he began publishing the fashion and photography magazine Ritz. He continued to photo stars for publications such as Harper's Bazaar and The London Times throughout the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, he began to turn his attention to television commercials.
His documentary subjects include Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, and Luciano Visconti. Publications of his photos consist of Box of Pin-ups (1964), Goodbye Baby & Amen: A Sarabande for the Sixties (1969), Another Image: Papua New Guinea (1975), David Bailey's Trouble and Strife (1980), David Bailey, London NWI: Urban Landscapes (1982), Imagine (1985), David Bailey's Rock and Roll Heroes (1997), and David Bailey: Chasing Rainbows (2001). He was produced a Commander of the British Empire in 2001.
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