An evocative portrait of a time passed.
Perhaps best known for his fashion shoots and renowned portraits, David Bailey’s photographic eye is in fact exceptionally versatile and diverse. As talented a documenter to the candid as well as the posed, the artist’s time in Peru in the 1970s and 80s exemplifies just this. On location for both Vogue and Tatler in 1971 and 1984, respectively, the trips took him away from the uniform setting of contemporary shoots. Instead, Bailey’s location shoots “were pure adventure” made up of “Bailey, a couple of accomplices and a model”. Immersing himself in the reality of the setting, David Bailey’s work captured the world he found himself in, with a bit of his home world in there too.
Creating a perfect amalgamation of the photographer’s love of documentary, portraiture and fashion, the time in Peru unites his multi-dimensional talent. Bringing the shots together for the first time in a travel book, HENI Gallery and publishers have made a uniting celebration of the exceptional work, entitled Bailey’s Peru. Collecting his photography from these visits, from Machu Picchu to Lima, Lake Titicaca to Cusco, Bailey shot fashion in the mornings and evenings and explored the rest of the day for personal work.
Accompanying Bailey on his first visit to Peru in 1971 was Grace Coddington, who has written a mesmerising introduction to the work. Looking back on the time she spent there, she explained “The rest of us tagged along to see the world through his eyes… It was exciting: he had no fear… I did find myself wondering whether he would get back alive”. Bailey’s Peru grants us that same insight into his fascinating world, shot in both colour and black and white, many of the works have not been seen before.
On his Peru photography, David Bailey explained the below:
“Why include fashion in a travel book? I suppose I did it because people can be quite snobbish about fashion shoots, they have a misguided idea that the photographer is told what to do by the magazine.This maybetrue with a lot of photographers but not the good ones. What they do is just as important asany other picture making.”
See the captivating work for yourself through the book BAILEY’S PERU, due out in November. Opening today, 19th October 2018, is the accompanying exhibition at HENI Gallery 6-10 Lexington Street, London W1F 0LB open Monday –Saturday 10am –6pm. Click through the gallery below for a sneak preview.
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17 December 2018