Fashion photographer David Bailey personified the Swinging Sixties in London, shooting, and dating, top models Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree, and producing compelling, edgy, starkly-lit black and white portraits of glowering rock stars and cutting-edge style icons, including the Beatles, Mick Jagger, fashion designer Cecil Beaton and the notorious gangsters, the Krays.
He shot covers and fashion spreads for British Vogue for over fifteen years, creating a new genre of photography that blurred the lines between fashion and art, making himself and his subjects major celebrities in the process. Tree described him as “the king lion on the Savannah: incredibly attractive, with a dangerous vibe. He was the electricity, the brightest, most powerful, most talented, most energetic force at the magazine”.1
This brooding portrait of pouting rock star Mick Jagger, with characteristic windswept-hair and glossy black leather jacket, forms part of Uncharted, Bailey’s series of fragmented, torn images, exhibited by the Daniel Blau Gallery at Paris Photo Los Angeles, 2014, and Frieze Masters, 2015.
These images provide an “insight into his artistic ingenuity and distinctive ability to create unique photographs, despite photography’s inherent reproducibility ... Torn before printing, the rough borders of these images accentuate specific details whilst omitting others. Bailey makes his compositional choices in the brief magical moment of darkness between focus and exposure, releasing the unpredictable laws of chance in the creation of these fragments of his genius.”2
1. Jo Ellison (2010) ‘Rogue’s Gallery’, British Vogue, July.
Daniel Blau Gallery, Frieze Masters 2015; Hooked on Bailey, 14 October to 18 October, 2015.
Daniel Blau Gallery, Paris Photo Los Angeles 2014; Bailey - Uncharted, 25 April to 27 April, 2014.