One of the World's Most Influential Photographers
London-born David Bailey is widely acknowledged as one of the founding fathers of contemporary photography, having shot some of the most iconic portraits of the last six decades. Bailey’s early work helped both define and capture 1960s London, when he made stars of a new generation of models, including Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree.
Graduating from being an assistant with fashion photographer John French in 1959, Bailey began the 1960s with a contract with Vogue to become the decade's iconic chronicler with two defining portrait publications David Bailey's box of pin-ups (1965) and Goodbye Baby and Amen (1969). They focussed on a new social order that evolved from the decade of change. Bailey was a leading figure in the Swinging Sixties London scene and provided some of the inspiration for the role of the photographer, played by David Hemmings, in Antonioni's cult film Blow Up (1966.) Bailey had his first Museum exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 1971.
Bailey channeled the energy of London’s informal street culture to create a new style of casual coolness. Drawing inspiration from Modernism, he injected movement and immediacy into his work by using a very direct, cropped perspective. Bailey’s interests extend to commercials, film, painting, and sculpture.