Bailey’s Stardust at The National Portrait Gallery

David Bailey's Stardust

I finally got around to seeing David Bailey’s Stardust retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery! Then spent the afternoon getting my tourist on around London.

David Bailey’s Stardust shows more than 250 snaps selected by the artist himself over the past two and a half years. It’s presented according to theme across various rooms. The walls are lined with film stars, musicians, designers, models, artists and filmmakers. There are some anonymous people from his travels & intimate family pictures… lots of nakedness and a few birthing pics of his wife that have made me contemplate whether I actually want to have kids…

National Portrait Gallery

Now I’ve heard mixed reviews about the exhibition. Some people say just about anyone could take those pictures. That the show is vacuous, shallow and self-indulgent (me with Dali, me with Warhol, me with my friends The Rolling Stones…). Others say it’s “dazzling” and “compelling”.

I think it’s a little of both. He was in the right place at the right time and got lucky – c’est la vie. The pictures from Papua New Guinea, shot in the early 70s, would have been more groundbreaking back then when people would neither have travelled as much nor had the internet in their pockets. I still like his style for what it is, simple black and whites, but agree that it’s the subjects that shine rather than the photographic finesse. But David, in the words of Mark Darcy… “I like you, very much. Just as you are.”

It’s on until 1 June 2014 so why not check it out & see which camp you fall into? If you missed it by a few years, I’ve included a big selection of his images from the exhibition below. Enjoy!

David Bailey’s Stardust Exhibition

Kate Moss

Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter. David Bailey 2006. © David Bailey

Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter.
2006 © David Bailey

The first ever selfie?? Taking selfies since 1972.

Salvador Dali and David Bailey. David Bailey, 1972. © David Bailey

Salvador Dali and David Bailey.
1972 © David Bailey

Tribesman, Naga Hills, India. David Bailey, 2012. © David Bailey.

Tribesman, Naga Hills, India.
2012 © David Bailey


East End. David Bailey, 1968. © David Bailey

East End.
1968 © David Bailey

'Prince Albert' John. David Bailey, 2003. © David Bailey

‘Prince Albert’ John.
2003 © David Bailey

Vivienne Westwood. David Bailey, 2012. © David Bailey

Vivienne Westwood.
2012 © David Bailey

Jane Birkin. David Bailey, 1969. © David Bailey

Jane Birkin.
1969 © David Bailey

Human Skull and Blue Roses. David Bailey, 2008. © David Bailey

Human Skull and Blue Roses.
2008 © David Bailey

Man Ray. David Bailey, 1968. © David Bailey

Man Ray.
1968 © David Bailey

Jack Nicholson. David Bailey, 1978. © David Bailey

Jack Nicholson.
1978 © David Bailey

David Bailey's Stardust - David Bowie. David Bailey, 1982. © David Bailey

David Bowie.
1982 © David Bailey

Bob Dylan. David Bailey, 1986. © David Bailey

Bob Dylan.
1986 © David Bailey

Joaquín Cortés. David Bailey, 1996. © David Bailey

Joaquín Cortés.
1996 © David Bailey

John Galliano. David Bailey, 2001. © David Bailey

John Galliano.
2001 © David Bailey

Patti Smith. David Bailey, 1978. © David Bailey

Patti Smith.
1978 © David Bailey

Anna Piaggi. David Bailey, 2002. © David Bailey

Anna Piaggi.
2002 © David Bailey

Marianna Faithfull. David Bailey, 1999. © David Bailey

Marianne Faithfull.
1999 © David Bailey

Catherine Bailey. David Bailey, 1986. © David Bailey

Catherine Bailey.
1986 © David Bailey

Jean Shrimpton. David Bailey, 1965. © David Bailey

Jean Shrimpton.
1965 © David Bailey

David Bailey's Stardust - Michael Caine. David Bailey, 1964. © David Bailey

Michael Caine.
1964 © David Bailey





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