From champagne in St Moritz to Moscow's Millionaire fair, photographer Martin Parr – once criticised for his mockery of the working classes – turns his camera on the filthy rich.
Parrworld | Visual art review
Baltic, GatesheadKitsch, bling and deadpan satire are all on show in Martin Parr's terrific new collection of photographs and memorabilia, writes Alfred Hickling
Martin Parr has said that he doesn't take photographs, he collects them. This terrific show, spread over two floors at Baltic, takes the unusual but inspired approach of combining new work Parr has collected on film alongside the bits of bric-a-brac he collects on impulse.
This month Magnum Photos releases Georgian Spring: A Magnum Journal, a group project for which ten photographers—Thomas Dworzak, Martine Franck, Mark Power, Alex Majoli, Martin Parr, Alec Soth, Jonas Bendiksen, Antoine D’Agata, Gueorgui Pinkhassov and Paolo Pellegrin—traveled to the Eastern European country to document the contemporary culture and national identity. The book is curated and published by Chris Boot, a former Magnum director in London.
5B4: Playas by Martin Parr:
If I understand correctly, Martin Parr and the publishers of his new book Playas, Editorial RM and Chris Boot, left all creative control of the book to the printer they employed in Mexico. That is, the design, sequencing, format, everything. This decision was made after asking several different low cost printers to design a cover and then Martin picked the best (or worst depending on how you look at it) and that company won the job to do the whole production. The result may be the best Martin Parr book in quite a while.
From The Guardian:
As well as the photo being sepia, there appears to be a subtle soft pink hue on Madonna herself. I guess this is the colour of reassuring, concerned maternity. You can imagine Madonna and her team thinking this through in the same way an advertising campaign is orchestrated.
Martin Parr reveals beauty in the banal through his photography, and says even mundane objects have charm – you only have to notice them
We are on the Isle of Wight, a roughly diamond-shaped piece of land in the English Channel, for an educational weekend with Britain’s pre-eminent documentary photographer. Occasionally Martin Parr discusses technique and technology with individual members of the group, but mostly we learn by watching him. The lesson is simple: Photograph what you love.
British photographer Martin Parr, whose work straddles documentary and fine art photography, argues that photojournalism “has to get modern” to regain the attention and support of mainstream magazines. In this month’s “State of the Art Report: Photojournalism Survival” (PDN August), Parr asserts, “You have to disguise things as entertainment, but still leave a message and some poignancy.” In a recent interview, we asked him to elaborate on his theory.
Check it out here.
In the world of photography, if you want to start an argument, just mention the 55-year-old English photo-documentarist Martin Parr. Parr’s passion for recording everyday frailties and humdrum tawdriness – a larkily colourful social panorama, taking in the unappealing scrum of mass consumerism, the curious rituals of the middle class and the messy indulgences of the super-rich – elicits a very traditional English reaction: it is not everybody’s cup of tea. Parr is a tremendous polariser. He’s either a pin-sharp satirical genius who tells uncomfortable truths with comedic flair – a view enthusiastically endorsed by subscribers to the trendy online photography site Flickr, which carries a message board dedicated to him entitled Martin Parr We Love You. Or he’s that heartlessly cynical smartarse whose pictures were once condemned by the late great Henri Cartier-Bresson, the father of modern photojournalism, as coming “from another planet”.
I flew up to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead to do the last bit of filming for Picture This, a Channel 4 series about six young photographers competing for the chance to mount a solo exhibition (I was one of three judges). The winner was Elizabeth Gordon, a former alcoholic who made a set of photographs re-enacting her days as a drinker. They’re a good example of what photography can do well: she shows great vulnerability, and that’s very engaging. I chatted to her about hanging her show at the top of Baltic and then caught a train to London, where I crashed in my office in Clerkenwell (I’ve got a bed there).
Punta del Este is a popular vacation spot on the southern tip of Uruguay. It is regarded as “the Saint-Tropez of Latin America”, since it has become a playground for the rich and famous of Southern South America, mainly Argentinians, local Uruguayans, Paraguayans and Brazilians.
Martin Parr captured the beach life of the South Americans sunning themselves and sipping their Mate teas. Over 300,000 tons of Mate is produced yearly for consumption in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. It is truly the South American passion!