Belfast Telegraph

David Bailey: I'm work-obsessed

David Bailey hopes he lives long enough to "finish" his work.

The 74-year-old fashion photographer might have pictured some of the most famous people in the world - including Sir Mick Jagger, Grace Coddington and Jean Shrimpton - but still doesn't feel he's achieved enough.

He can never imagine a time when he feels truly successful.

"I am obsessed with my work. But I think you have to be like this when you want to do something with your life. I never stop asking myself, 'How long do I have left to live?' I'd just like to have the time to finish my work. But in art, there is never an endpoint. It is the big answer to life, to admit that we will never find the answer," he told French magazine Madame Figaro.

Despite his illustrious career, David remains uninterested in celebrity. He is particularly bored with many of today's famous people as he believes many don't have true talent.

"I avoid it [celebrity]," he said. "In the 60s, celebrities didn't exist. Only people who were talented. I don't look at Johnny Depp or Charlotte Gainsbourg because they are some stars, but because they are really gifted actors," he explained.

The photographer also spoke about London during the decade known as the 'Swinging 60s'. He revealed it wasn't as fun as many would expect, mostly because only a select few were having a good time.

"I lived those years in a bed most of the time..." he laughed. "It was the best time for sex! Actually, the Swinging London only refers to a few people. It was the first time the working class could reach to a financial power, that it could raise its voice.

"We used to party, but not necessary more than the other young people of the same age. No drugs for me. But I used to drink a lot. I had a big house in Regent's Park, a photo studio...It was freedom. I was born during the war, I grew up in an area so dangerous. Nothing scared me. But the truth is, most of all, I was working a lot."

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