Design & Living / Jefferson Hack's Question Air

David Bailey: Photographer

The iconic image-maker answers Jefferson Hack's version of the Proust Questionnaire

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David Bailey self-portrait
David Bailey self-portrait

David Bailey, CBE, has long been regarded as one of the world’s most successful commercial photographers. After securing a position at Vogue aged just 22 in 1960, Bailey’s career and colourful personal life thrived during the swinging 60s, even serving as the main inspiration in Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up. However despite all of his exploits, the energy and dynamism of Bailey’s work has withstood the test of time, and he continues to work at a relentless pace to this day. Ahead of his new exhibition Sculpture +, Bailey talks to Jefferson Hack about Picasso, the pill and political correctness. 

What are you thinking of right now?
How to paint an apple.

What makes you laugh?
Death.

What makes you cry?
Being born.

What do you consider to be the greatest invention?
The pill.

Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure that has guided or influenced you?
Picasso.

Where do you feel most at home?
London and India.

Where are you right now?
In my head.

What is your proudest achievement in work?
Still going strong.

What is your proudest achievement in life?
Marrying Catherine.

What do you most dislike about contemporary culture?
Political correctness.

What do you most like about the age we live in?
Information.

At what points do life and work intersect?
All the time.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Don't listen.

What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Sticking to my guns.

Recommend a book or poem that has changed your perspective on life?
Kim by Rudyard Kipling.

What is your earliest childhood memory?
The blitz.

What’s the most important relationship in your life?
My wife.

What’s the most romantic action you’ve taken?
Marrying Catherine.

What’s the most spiritual action you’ve taken?
Not believing.

If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be?
No religion.

Photography by Jennifer Karady.

David Bailey: Sculpture + is on show from today at the Pangolin London, Kings Place

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