David Bailey & Mary McCartney at Claridge’s

Mary McCartney, Kate Kate Kate, 2013

Claridge’s ArtSpace, located in the heart of London’s Mayfair, has announced Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney, a new photography exhibition bringing the works of these two major British photographers into direct dialogue for the first time in this unique John Pawson designed space. Curated by Brandei Estes, this exhibition spans photographs from the 1960s to the present day – showcasing a mutual interest in reinventing portraiture alongside interconnected aesthetic concerns and a shared sensibility. This marks the first occasion for Bailey to show with another photographer in London.

Over the course of more than half a century, iconic British photographer and director David Bailey has created some of the most notable fashion images in the medium, a prolific and tireless image-maker. Celebrated worldwide for his inimitable, charged portraits, this exhibition includes images of celebrities of a halcyon bygone era, where glamour was still unattainable and distant.

Above left: David Bailey, ‘Marie Helvin Legs’
Above right: Mary McCartney, ‘Royal Academy Harry’, 2017

Many of the portraits included in Double Exposure also reveal Bailey’s signature informal, playful side: a portrait of Jean Shrimpton, her face painted by David Hockney; Miles Davis, sticking his tongue out at the camera; a joy-filled portrait of Jerry Hall, sitting on table, head thrown back with laughter, resting her high-heeled shoe in Helmut Newton’s hand. These photographs speak not only of Bailey’s intimate connection with his subjects and artistic milieu, but his ability to disarm and charm even the most idolised with the camera.


These works are brought into a taut, incisive conversation with Mary McCartney, known for her poetic, enigmatic portraits, and evocative, emotional narratives. Diaristic and intimate, McCartney’s photographs share with Bailey an ability to strip away the superfluous in her images in concise and suggestive compositions.

Mirroring Bailey’s portraits of the celebrities of his era, McCartney has also captured her peers, the icons of her generation. A triptych of Kate Moss posturing and posing; a young and perfect Milla Jovovich, and a whimsical imagining of Harry Styles are among the portraits included in Double Exposure. Like Bailey, McCartney draws out an innate sense of theatricality in these world-famous figures, delighting in the performativity of photography – and evoking an atmosphere of fun.

 David Bailey; Claridge’s ArtSpace; Mary McCartney

Moving between stillness and solitude to motion and flamboyance, McCartney also creates vignettes that bring attention to the overlooked moments in the everyday – a ballet dancer caught during downtime, a woman flagging down a taxi, lovers legs entangled late at night at a club, Joni Mitchell smoking a cigarette. McCartney’s particular tempo, like Bailey’s, derives from a sense of poised beauty and happenstance, where anything and anyone could be a subject.

Unfolding like a conversation between two friends, Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney is an exhilarating pairing of two major epoch-defining British artists.

Double Exposure: David Bailey & Mary McCartney
14 May – 19 July 2024
Location: Claridge’s ArtSpace, Brook’s Mews London W1K 4HR

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