Born in Epson, Surrey 23rd May 1952
Started as a documentary photographer at 14
Influenced by his grandfather who was an amateur
Studied Photography at Manchester Polytechnic
between 1970-1973 (aged 18-21)
Got married in 1980 and has one child
Martin Parr was appointed Professor of Photography
in 2004 at The University of Wales Newport campus.
Bad Weather Photography:
- This is exemplary of his early work, that of which
he gained recognition for.
- Use of black and white
-He has developed an international reputation for
his innovative imagery, his unique approach to
social documentary, and his input to photographic
culture within the UK and abroad.
Thoughts on the
Parr didn't like Margaret Thatcher and her ideologies
Parr regrettably never photographed Thatcher or the miners
strike (which he supported)
Parr considers himself a liberal, but in recent time has been
quoted as saying in an article for the guardian that," some of
her politics helped modernize Britain", despite being angry at
her during the 80's
his work aimed to mirror the lifestyle of ordinary British
people, reflecting the social decline and distress of the working
class during the era of Margaret Thatcher
More recent work
- Parr has developed an interest in film-making, and
has started to use his photography within different
conventions, such as fashion and advertising.
- In 2008 Martin Parr was guest curator at New York
Photo Festival, curating the New Typologies
- Parr has been working on a 4-year project
documenting the Black Country (West Midlands)
Work outside the UK
Parr has done some work in Mexico where he was
struck by the clear impact of America's pop culture
on Mexican life
thematic aspects of his work in Mexico include:
colourful and mocking close-ups of food, hats, signs,
and souvenirs etc.
His work demonstrated the corruption of authentic
cultural forms by global consumer culture.
his work both critiques and celebrates this
In 14, Parr Became a member of Magnum Photos
There was a great deal of controversy around him
joining Magnum due to his provocative
Parr- “I was one of the first to break that humanist
tradition that was so strong in the previous
generation. They thought I was exploitative, cynical,
even fascist. All kinds of words were used. But you
should ask them.”
Bill Brandt - at the age of 15, Parr went to one of his
exhibitions and thought "This is fantastic! This is
what I want to do."
Henri Cartier-Bresson - "You're on another planet!".
Parr replied, our styles may be different but "don't
shoot the messenger." His black and white style is
similar to Parr’s, but he's movement towards a
postcard style couldn't be more different.
Supposedly the most significant of his influences
was Tony Ray-Jones who similarly, 'teased' the
English culture, like Parr. Jones was also British and
only around ten years older than Parr.
Worked in Radio and various TV shows, including
the being one of the 12 film makers who contributed
to the survey of the funeral of Princess Diana.
It's Nice Up North, Think of
England, Vivians Hotel
Think of England
Parr asked members of the public what it took to be
First book / Black and White Photography
- Bad Weather (1982) and 'A Fair Day' (1984)
The switch to colour
Then switch to colour photography
few years later
- 'The Last Resort' (1986)
start his photographs with
pioneer : John Bulmer
Other examples of his
- Postcard collectors
key influence with the help of
collaboration with Gerry Badger
- Documentary filmmaker
Nick Barker 'Signs of the Times' 1992
'It's Nice Up North' 2006
- Big Awards and Honors
Centenary Medal of The Royal Photographic Society/