Bailey Stardust, i ritratti di David Bailey alla National Portrait Gallery

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‘'Hound Dog Dolly' (Karen Sharman) by David Bailey, 2004 © David Bailey

LONDRA. Con oltre 300 scatti, “Bailey Stardust” si candida ad essere una delle più grandi mostre ospitate alla National Portrait Gallery di Londra. Al piano terra della galleria londinese, infatti, fino al 1° giugno, si potrà ammirare un’esposizione che contiene una grande varietà di fotografie che raccontano più di mezzo secolo di carriera di David Bailey, uno dei fotografi più illustri e caratteristici del mondo.

 

Mick Jagger by David Bailey, 1964 © David Bailey
Mick Jagger by David Bailey, 1964 © David Bailey

 

Tra i suoi lavori fantasiosi ed originali ritratti che, nel caso della mostra alla National sono stati personalmente selezionati dal fotografo che ha scelto tra i numerosi personaggi contenuti nel suo portfolio (tra fotografi, attori, scrittori, musicisti, registi, icone della moda, stilisti , modelle, artisti e persone incontrate nei suoi viaggi) e che ha ritratto negli ultimi cinque decenni. Molti di loro sono famosi e personalità affermate; altri, invece, sono perfetti sconosciuti. Tutti, però, allo stesso modo coinvolgenti e memorabili.

 

Jack Nicholson by David Bailey, 1978  © David Bailey now for BAILEY’S STARDUST, 6 February - 1 June 2014, National Portrait Gallery, London. Sponsored by HUGO BOSS
Jack Nicholson by David Bailey, 1978
© David Bailey
now for BAILEY’S STARDUST, 6 February – 1 June 2014, National Portrait Gallery, London. Sponsored by HUGO BOSS

 

Ritornando all’esposizione, “Stardust Bailey” è strutturata tematicamente e accosta gli opposti: dalle immagini iconiche ai ritratti meno noti; dal glamour all’impoverito; dal famoso e al famigerato. Una serie di ambienti contrastanti, insomma, dove si possono anche accostare immagini di teschi e gravidanze che diventano potenti meditazioni sulla nascita e la morte.

 

Roy Shaw by David Bailey, 2002 © David Bailey
Roy Shaw by David Bailey, 2002 © David Bailey

 

Ancora, in mostra, uno spazio dedicato ai viaggi di Bailey in Australia, Delhi e Naga Hills e uno riservato alle icone del mondo della moda e delle arti, oltre alle persone ritratte ad East End di Londra. Alla National Portrait, poi, non potevano mancare una serie tra i lavori più acclamati di Bailey – Box of Pin-Ups e Bailey’s Democracy- e uno spazio dedicato ai ritratti ai The Rolling Stones e Catherine Bailey che si mettono in contrasto con le fotografie documentarie relative alla spedizione del fotografo a Papua Nuova Guinea e le immagini in movimento dell’Africa orientale devastata dalla carestia.

 

Damon Albarn by David Bailey, 2007 © David Bailey
Damon Albarn by David Bailey, 2007 © David Bailey

 

English version. A landmark exhibition of the work of David Bailey, sponsored by HUGO BOSS, it’s open at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Selected by the photographer, Bailey’s Stardust (until 1 June 2014) is one of the Gallery’s larger-scale photography exhibitions, with over 300 portraits occupying most of its ground floor. One of the world’s most distinguished and distinctive photographers, David Bailey has made an outstanding contribution to the visual arts, creating consistently imaginative and thought-provoking portraits. As well as including new work, this exhibition contains a wide variety of Bailey’s photographs from a career that has spanned more than half a century.

The portraits have been personally selected by Bailey from the subjects and groups that he captured over the last five decades: photographers, actors, writers, musicians, filmmakers, fashion icons, designers, models, artists and people encountered on his travels; many of them famous, some unknown, all of them engaging and memorable. Bailey has made new silver gelatin prints of his black-and-white portraits especially for the exhibition.

 

Francis Bacon by David Bailey, 1983 © David Bailey
Francis Bacon by David Bailey, 1983 © David Bailey

 

Bailey’s Stardust is structured thematically, with iconic images presented alongside many lesser-known portraits, its title reflecting the notion we are all made from, and return to, ‘stardust’. Portraits of a range of sitters – from the glamorous to the impoverished, the famous to the notorious – are presented in a series of contrasting rooms, and through images of skulls and pregnancy, powerful meditations on birth and death. There are rooms devoted to Bailey’s travels in Australia, Delhi and the Naga Hills, as well as icons from the worlds of fashion and the arts, and people of the East End of London. There are selections from two of Bailey’s most acclaimed bodies of work: the Box of Pin-Ups, which helped define the 1960s through arresting studies of key figures, and Bailey’s Democracy, in which people visiting his studio were asked if they would agree to be photographed naked. Rooms devoted to striking portraits of The Rolling Stones and Catherine Bailey contrast with remarkable documentary photographs from the photographer’s expedition to Papua New Guinea in 1974 and moving images of those devastated by the famine in east Africa, taken in support of the Band Aid charity in 1985.

Info: www.npg.org.uk

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