INsight Artist, 2009
“With photography, I like to create fiction out of reality. I try and do this by taking society’s natural prejudice and giving this a twist.” —Martin Parr
Martin Parr is arguably Britain’s most important contemporary photographer, with a unique perspective and unmistakable style, and a critical and popular following in the worlds of art, fashion and journalism.
Inspired by his grandfather, Parr studied photography from 1970 to 1973, taking on various teaching assignments through the early 1990s. Switching to color in the early 1980s, he documented the English working class during the era of Thatcher, earning an international reputation for his innovative imagery. “I suppose I started to make a critique of society as it is, rather than a celebration of what it used to be.”
For Parr, the moral atrophy and preposterousness of our daily lives means we can only find salvation through adopting a certain sense of humor. As an insightful commentator on commercial culture and social life, he has revitalized and repositioned contemporary documentary photography.
A member of Magnum since 1994, Parr has published over twenty books and been widely exhibited around the globe, including MoMA NY and Tokyo, the Tate Modern, Stedelijk Museum, and the Bibliothèque Nationale.
“He is a cunning photographer, sidling his way into situations where he shouldn’t always be, looking as ordinary as the people he photographs.” –Val Williams