David Bailey CBE is one of the most famous names in photography worldwide, and now for the first time ever, a rare collection of Polaroid prints from his 63-year career is going on sale to collectors.
The subjects are as renowned as the photographer himself and include Princess Diana, Cara Delevingne and self-portraits of David Bailey himself, as well as still-life compositions, and instant snapshots.
The Polaroids will be on sale at Dellasposa Gallery (opens in new tab) in London, but interestingly, collectors won't know which Polaroid they're getting, as each one is sealed inside an envelope signed by the photographer himself.
David Bailey is one of several artists who captured polaroids; a legendary group including Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Ansel Adams.
The rise of instant Polaroid photography in the 1950s gave Bailey countless opportunities to capture the icons he met. Of course, the three-by-four-inch Polaroid image is now iconic itself – there's a reason that the best instant cameras (opens in new tab) are back in fashion and rising in popularity today.
For collectors who want to own an original print by Bailey, a Polaroid could be the easiest and cheapest way to do that.
About David Bailey
David Bailey CBE was born on January 2, 1938 in North Leyton, East London.
He bought his first camera whilst posted in Singapore with the Royal Air Force, and was said to have become inspired to become a photographer after seeing Henri Cartier-Bresson’s photograph, ‘Srinagar, Kashmir’.
David Bailey went on to work as an assistant to fashion photographer John French, soon to strike out on his own as a portrait photographer.
In 1965, he published David Bailey’s Box of Pin-Ups, a collection of 36 prints, now widely acknowledged as defining an era and shaping the future of photography.
He was prolific in the 1970s and ’80s, capturing portraits of artists such as Alice Cooper, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Elton John and Cat Stevens – as well as Oasis siblings Noel and Liam Gallagher.
David Bailey is also a filmmaker, has directed hundreds of TV commercials, and won a Lion d’Or at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival for his Greenpeace PSA, Meltdown. His six-decade-long career has seen him release over 46 books.
Other David Bailey exhibitions
Bailey: Vision and Sound is currently at the Dellasposa Gallery, a celebratory exhibition of David Bailey's portraits of legendary musicians over the past six decades. It will be on show until January 28, 2023. Check out the online viewing room for the exhibition (opens in new tab).