David Bailey photography exhibition Stardust opens and he proclaims that selfies will not last

Posted on 5 February 2014
By Pierce King
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Iconic British photographer David Bailey has dubbed taking ‘selfies’ a passing carze that will soon die out and admitted he had never taken a self portrait on a smartphone because he’s too busy taking pictures of other people.

The 76-year old, whose famous subjects include supermodel Kate Moss, Rolling Stone singer Mick Jagger and actor Jack Nicholson, said: “I only just found out what selfies were.

“I thought it was something entirely different! It’s just a silly moment.

“People won’t be doing it in six months’ time. There will be another craze, I can’t see the point.”

The Poppy Head artist, famous for capturing the free spirit of the swinging ’60s, was speaking at the launch of his latest exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Bailey’s Stardust, which opens tomorrow, features 250 portraits spanning his 55-year career but the photographer insisted the show was not a retrospective.

Organised into different groups, Bailey dedicated rooms in the exhibition to his wife Catherine, the Rolling Stones and fashion icons like Moss and Jerry Hall as well as his travels to Papua New Guinea and East Africa.

While his show features colour photography, he is best known for his stark black-and-white portraits against a simple white background, which he says helps to convey the message of his work in a direct manner.

“When you look at a colour picture, you kind of look at the colour before you look at the message, whereas black and white cuts out the colour, so you go straight to the message.”

Showing no signs of slowing despite his age, Bailey says he spends his time working on various projects across film, sculpture and photography, adding he never gets nostalgic.

“I’m only interested in now, this moment. Because that is the only thing we have in life, it’s now, this moment. When this moment is gone, it’s another moment,” he said.

“But I’d thought I’d have a word with the devil at the crossroads and see if I can get a bit more time.”