Martin Parr

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Martin Parr (born 23 May 1952 in Epsom, Surrey) is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take a critical look at aspects of modern life, in particular provincial and suburban life in England. He is a member of Magnum Photos.


Life and career

Early life

Parr wanted to become a documentary photographer from the age of fourteen, and cites his grandfather, an amateur photographer, as an early influence[1]. From 1970 to 1973 he studied photography at the Manchester Polytechnic now Manchester Metropolitan University. He married Susan Mitchell in 1980 and is father of a daughter named Ellen Parr (born 1986).


Parr began work as a professional photographer and has subsequently taught photography intermittently from the mid-1970s. He was first recognised for his black and white photography in the north of England, Bad Weather (1982) and A Fair Day (1984), but switched to colour photography in 1984. The resulting work, Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton, was published in 1986. Since 1994 Parr has been a member of Magnum Photos.[1]. Recent work has included a collaboration with designer Paul Smith in Ilford, capturing people wearing Smith's Autumn/Winter 2007 collection[2] In 2008 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University in recognition for his ongoing contribution to photography and to Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Art[3].


Besides being a photographer, Parr is a keen collector of postcards, photographs, oranges and various other items, and many of his collections have been used as the basis for publications.[4] Since the 1970s, Parr has collected and publicised the garish postcards made between the 1950s and 1970s by John Hinde and his team of photographers. The images made by Hinde and his team are a key influence on Parr's colour photography.

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