Bailey’s Stardust

At the National Portrait Gallery

I couldn’t have been more excited by the time I purchased the tickets, for on route to this display of photographic fabulousness, we first spotted Robert Webb (whom gave my husband that Jeremy shrug expression) and then four minutes later a broad grinning Stephen Mangan hit the pavement in front. Not sick, but spinning in happiness I was so ready to take in the star-studded compositions and super talent of Mr David Bailey.

It’s hard to decide which was my favourite theme/focus out of the twelve rooms, for all areas have been assembled wisely to reflect not only the breadth and contrast in his work but also extent – compiled during (and just over) the past 50 years.

I can honestly say – I can’t see how anyone could be disappointed with this show. It’s interesting; informative; the subjects beautifully captured; and the curator (if that’s the person responsible for organising the layout), maximised and significantly improved that one hour of my life.

Reflecting personally on what’s on display, has multiplied that one hour of exploration ten-fold. So, in the interest of hooking you further and most probably leading you to amend your plans for the coming weekend, read on.

Look out for (I really had to cut this – as my initial list ran to over 25):
• Jack Nicholson (1984) – the line across his forehead, the pores in this nose and the bubble between two teeth.
• Noel Gallagher (2008) – Darkness over his left brow
• Billy Wilder (1989) – His claw-like hands
• Queen (plural) 1985 – in their high-waisted palest blue jeans
• Malcolm Muggeridge (1968) – mid word, off centre, up stage
• Desmond Tutu (2011) – sparkling eyes and very alive (though I know he’s not dead)
• John Galliano (2001) – pointing at you (yes you – though not you)
• Jerry Hall and Helmut Lang (1983) in colour – background James Bond Miami Hotel look
• Grayson Perry positioned next to Molly Parkin and Zandra Rhodes
• Tom Ford (2006) – not only delicious but the colour/texture of his scarf is exquisitely captured
• Abbey Lee Kershaw (2010) – with her ‘fantastic fur’ (my husband’s comment not mine)
• A slightly creepy shot of David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve
• The Catherine Bailey Room
• And in the Wolfson Gallery– Terence Stamp, five along on the left hand wall as you enter
The exhibition runs until 1 June 2014

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