Martin Parr has monolithic status in the international field of photography. His career as a photographer ranges over more than four decades and his fascination with beach culture has lasted almost as long. In 1986 he launched the book The Last Resort, which is themed on one of England’s seaside resorts. Parr then started photographing beach culture in several countries around the world. A beach is a perfect place to people-watch and study rituals and traditions. ‘You can read a lot about a country by looking at its beaches; across cultures, the beach is that rare public space in which all absurdities and quirky national behaviours can be found’, says Parr.
The humorous and unmasking perspectives of humanity that Parr sees played out in public space have placed him amongst our era’s most profiled, popular, yet also controversial photographers. Being the stunning satirist that he is, he presents familiar and everyday situations in a new light, not seldom with a crass shadow. His ironic and absurd subjects render the pictures highly entertaining as well as great works of art.
Martin Parr is a member of the agency Magnum Photos and has produced more than 90 photo books as well as been involved in editing a good many more. His photographs have been exhibited across the world and are included in the collections of, among others, New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Tate Modern in London.
SPAIN. Benidorm. 1997. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos