Professor in the Culture of Photography Francis Hodgson has written the text for a super-sized book of images by renowned photographer David Bailey. The retrospective tome is the culmination of two years researching Bailey’s archives and features portraits from the 1950s to the 2010s, including Nelson Mandela, the Beatles, the Queen, Salvador Dalí, Bill Gates, and Yves Saint Laurent. It’s priced at a whopping £2500 and each collector’s edition comes with a bookstand designed by Marc Newson.
Professor Francis Hodgson says of Bailey: “Anyone who has seen him make a portrait knows that it’s a very physical business; he stalks around, prodding here and there, telling jokes, pulling clothing or limbs this way and that. What he’s doing is trying to allow character to come out. Any kind of interference is good; it can be sexual teasing or flirting, storytelling, gloriously provocative conversation – anything to nudge a person out of stage fright or smugness. If you have any personality at all, he’ll find it and it won’t take long. The plain background is a graphic device but it’s also a boxing ring. When you go to Bailey’s studio, you get into the ring with him and he’ll search out what you’ve got. He doesn’t waste film.”