BJP meets with the giant of British photography to discuss his new book - the re-edited NW1 - his career and his approach to life itself
If you’ve heard Tom Hulce’s laugh in the film Amadeus, you’ve got an idea of how David Bailey’s laugh sounds – high-pitched, explosive, and very infectious. I’ve met him before at a press breakfast and he seemed like a bit of a handful; this time it’s a one-to-one in his studio, and he’s on affable, charming form. “What’s your story?” he asks at the end of the interview, then he introduces me to his team.
Still, he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. We’re here to talk about NW1, the recent re-edited version of his 1982 book showing largely deserted streets in the London postcode; when I venture he’s better-known for portraits, he snaps he “can’t help other peoples’ lack of curiosity”.
“They think I live in Devon, I’ve never lived in Devon,” he expands, warming up to his theme – his studio manager later clarifies that he has a house and visits it, but doesn’t live there. “Kate Moss is not going to come down to Devon to get her photograph taken. You can only live in London, New York or Paris doing what I do.”