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Lot 22 - David Bailey, Amanda Johnson, Songwriter/Performer /(...), 2003

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David Bailey (b. 1938)
Amanda Johnson, Songwriter / Performer / Contortionist / Bitch / Cunt, 2003
Gelatin silver print
Artist's initials in pencil on the verso
39 x 30 cm (15.4 x 11.8 in)
Gifted by the artist to the previous owner
Private Collection, London 

Condition Report:

This print is in good condition.

David Bailey’s project ‘Democracy’ is concerned with nakedness, the concept of which excited him – people directly exposed with no clever lighting or sheen of make-up. He had, he claimed, no wish to contribute more images to the canon of the classical or traditional nude: “All that worrying about poncy lighting, making people look like landscapes or rocks … If I wanted to photograph a fucking rock, I’d photograph a fucking rock.” He is loath to admit it, but the idea for a body of work entitled ‘David Bailey’s Democracy’ came to him while reading Plato’s Republic. From this he conjured up the idea of a cast of characters, not posed or composed, but instead literally standing in their own skins.

He advertised for naked models (over 100 applied), laying down a set of rules: everyone was to be photographed in the same surroundings with the same lighting, with each subject given six shots. Each volunteer was placed in front of a white backdrop under a single light, while Bailey shot them from 12 feet away. The photographer’s own platonic utopia resulted, captured by a huge camera chosen for maximum detail and frame.

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