Monday, April 26, 2010
According to Newsweek, the Sixties DID Happen.
Here are a couple of great interviews with David Bailey that were part of a publicity round for his recently ended Pure Sixties, Pure Bailey exhibition at Bonhams in London. In discussing his career he touches upon some philosophies that I find really interesting and helpful.
I especially like what he says in the video interview with Sarfraz Manzoor for the Gardian UK about stealing and originality, "They [other photographers] shouldn't borrow, they should steal. If they borrow, it's only going to be weak. And if they copy it's going to be weak. But if they steal it and make it their own... I've got nothing against people stealing things," he goes on. "..Everything is an influence and if you don't steal everything, I mean, you can never do it. I mean, people who think they can just be original, you can't."
Maybe a strange way for me to take it, but I am really encouraged by that. As a photographer, your goal is to make a photo that people feel like they have never seen before. But part of that is knowing that everything has already been done - accept that and use it to your advantage - it's what I try to tell myself.
The second is a cheeky interview found on the very last page of last month's Tatler.
Q&A with David Bailey, Tatler, April 2010:
What makes you happy? Sex.
Your highest moment? The Himalayas.
Your lowest moment? The Dead Sea.
Your best quality? Dyslexia.
Your worst quality? Intolerance.
Who inspires you? Henri Cartier-Bresson and Pablo Picasso.
First photograph that made an impression on you? Hitler's victims during the Second World War.
What makes a good photograph? A good artist.
Most memorable photoshoot? The birth of my children.
Most beautiful woman you've ever photographed? Catherine Bailey.
Best piece of advice you have been given? Ingrid Bergman once told me: only have lunch or dinner with people who make you laugh or further your career.
Best advice you have given? Expect the unexpected.
What are you proud of? Living so long.
What are you scared of? Living forever.
What's your addiction? Work.
What do you have on your bedside table? Usually 30 books, such as Samuel Pepe's biography, Roberto Bolano, Gore Vidal, Diaghilev.
The most interesting person you have ever met? Gore Vidal because I loved his cynical sense of humour.
Who do you dislike? People who are politically correct.
Bete Noir? God asking me to photograph a dodgey blonde.
The Sixties...did they really happen? According to Newsweek
Who will you vote for? Miss World.
Favourite politician you have photographed? Nelson Mandela.
iPod playlist? Stravinsky, Bob Dylan, Vera Lynn.
Your favorite restaurant and why? Bob's East End Cafe - why not?
First crush? Audrey Hepburn.
Do you think you are successful? Apparently.
Last time you cried and why? When I was being born.
How do your nearest and dearest deal with you? With caution.
Who do you love the most? Catherine Bailey.
Have you had your heart broken? What happened? Yes, my lead soldier melted.
Your indulgence? Camera cases.
Worst nightmare? A camera with a dead battery.
Favourite escape? The darkroom.
Where do you go to be alone? In my head.
Photo credit: David Bailey portrait of Michael Caine
at 9:54 PM