Friday Fry Up: Martin Parr


In the lead up to the Australian Centre for Photography and Aperture’s co-presentation of Martin Parr’ Life’s a Beach later this month, we’re taking the opportunity to show a pile of Parr images, because an opportunity missed is an opportunity lost.

Parr’s seaside photographs need little introduction, he’s amassed decades of work centered on the subject culminating in a number of celebrated books and exhibitions, and rightly so, Parr’s a master of observation elevating the bizarre and banal to make poignant commentary on the modern world. Starting with his series The Last Resort, his 1986 book depicting the seaside resort of New Brighton, Martin Parr has built a tableau of hyper colour, fleshy scenes and sandy moments from Argentina, Brazil, China, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and, of course, the UK. Parr’s images are piercing and alert, scenes of absurdity and humor, but also compassion, falling in love briefly with a set of earrings, a hotdog or a leathered Brightoner.

Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, UK, in 1952. When he was a boy, his budding interest in the medium of photography was encouraged by his grandfather George Parr, himself a keen amateur photographer. Martin Parr studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic, from 1970 to 1973. Since that time, Martin Parr has worked on numerous photographic projects. He has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, his oblique approach to social documentary, and his input to photographic culture within the UK and abroad. Parr has published over 80 books of his own work and edited another 30. In 1994 he became a full member of Magnum Photographic Corporation.

Presented by The Australian Center for Photography and Aperture Foundation, New York, Martin Parr’ Life’s A Beach opens at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Bondi Beach – 31 January – 27 March 2016 – And it’s free. More info here.