David Bailey's name is synonymous with the excitement of London in the 'Swinging Sixties', with its culture of high fashion, fast living and celebrity. One of the first celebrity photographers, he socialized with the many pop music, film and art icons of the time - he lived with Mick Jagger, married the legendary French film actress, Catherine Deneuve and had relationships with the models Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree. Along with Brian Duffy and Terence Donovan, he was one of the 'Terrible Trio' - self-taught, working-class East-end boys who revolutionized the precious, aristocratic style of fashion portraiture had been produced by society photographers like Cecil Beaton and Norman Parkinson in the preceding decades. Bailey introduced a new generation of models, like Shrimpton and Tree, in simple, direct photographs which exuded sexuality and personality, ending the era of ex-debutante models and refined postures in fashion portraiture.In his long collaboration with Shrimpton - they shot together every day for two and a half years - Bailey produced some of his best-known fashion images and made Shrimpton one of the first supermodels. In a single month, she appeared on the covers of seven editions of "Vogue", "Newsweek", "Time" and "Look" magazine. His own fame was made evident when director Michelangelo Antonioni decided to model his lead character on him in the cult film Blow-Up (1966). Bailey was born in 1938 in the East End of London and brought up during World War II. He left school on his fifteenth birthday after struggling with dyslexia through his education. After a range of jobs that ranged from carpet salesman to copy boy, he was called up for National Service in 1956 and served in Singapore.Shortly before returning to England he bought a camera, rekindling an interest in photography that had begun around the age of 10 when he would process film from his mother's Brownie in their cellar. Back in London, he wrote to every photographer whose name he found in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and secured a position as third assistant to photographer John French. A year later he was offered a contract by British Vogue. He went on to contribute frequently to American, British and Italian "Vogue" for around 15 years producing energetic, tightly-cropped photographs that paved the way for the fashion photography of the future. Outside fashion photography, Bailey has also made numerous landscapes of London, travelled further afield making portraits in places like Papua New Guinea and Havana, Cuba, and has made a series of portraits of his family, particularly of his current wife, the model Catherine Bailey.He has also worked in other media producing record sleeve art, feature films, documentaries and around 500 commercials. A prolific artist, he has also produced a number of photobooks on individual series or collections of portraits and has been the subject of numerous exhibitions including a major traveling show that opened at the Barbican in London in 1999 entitled 'The Birth of Cool'. This is the best available retrospective on Bailey's career with works from many of his major books, including the 1960s "Box of Pin-Ups" and his series of intimate portraits of his wife, "The Lady is a Tramp". The book includes early, unpublished work, iconic 1960s fashion, commercial and personal work. This book, on a photographer whose reputation only continues to grow, will appeal to all photography enthusiasts and students, and to anyone with an interest in popular culture of the 1960s onwards.
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