MARTIN PARR (Born 1952)

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I WANTED TO BE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT, A LITTLE BIT INDIVIDUAL, THAT'S WHY I ONLY DID ONE SIDE, 1991 by MARTIN PARR (Born 1952) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

I WANTED TO BE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT, A LITTLE BIT INDIVIDUAL, THAT'S WHY I ONLY DID ONE SIDE, 1991

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EACH TO THEIR OWN BUT I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE BEST - IF NOT THE BEST - HOUSES ON THE ESTATE, 1991 by MARTIN PARR (Born 1952) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

EACH TO THEIR OWN BUT I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE OF THE BEST - IF NOT THE BEST - HOUSES ON THE ESTATE, 1991

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UNDERNEATH IT ALL SHE REALLY IS A LOVELY GIRL, 1992 by MARTIN PARR (Born 1952) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

UNDERNEATH IT ALL SHE REALLY IS A LOVELY GIRL, 1992

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WE ARE GOING TO COME TO A NICE COMPROMISE ON EVERY ISSUE. I'VE ALREADY DECIDED WHAT COLOURS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE. HE CAN JUST PICK THE VARIATIONS, 1991 by MARTIN PARR (Born 1952) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

WE ARE GOING TO COME TO A NICE COMPROMISE ON EVERY ISSUE. I'VE ALREADY DECIDED WHAT COLOURS WE'RE GOING TO HAVE. HE CAN JUST PICK THE VARIATIONS, 1991

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P.O.A

In association with Rocket Gallery.

Martin Parr is widely acknowledged for his photographic projects that highlight, and gently satirize people and their cultures. Born in Epsom, Surrey on 23 May 1952, the son of a civil servant, he was heavily influenced by his grandfather's hobby as an amateur photographer. Parr went on to study the subject at Manchester Polytechnic (1970-73).

On graduating, Parr began work as a professional photographer, supporting his career, by taking on various teaching assignments between 1975 and the early 1990s. At the beginning of the 1980s 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. He earned an international reputation for his oblique approach to social documentary, and for innovative imagery, in particular his black and white projects such as "Bad Weather"'in 1982 and later his publication "A Fair Day'"in 1984.

"The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton" (1986) was Parr's first project to show a move towards his now distinct personal style: bright colours and vivid images, that captured the holidaymakers of New Brighton and set alight his passion for observing society. This series has since become a modern classic.

Parr's global project, "Common Sense" (1995-99), developed this technique further and gained him more recognition as a satirical photojournalist. The project aimed to highlight the idiosyncrasies of different contemporary cultures such as a British cup of tea, a dazzling Hollywood smile and other such "cultural clichés".

In the 1990s the BBC aired a documentary called "Signs of the Times", in collaboration with Nicholas Barker and Martin Parr. Directed by Barker, it was an early version of reality television and was seen as a fly-on-the-wall documentary combined with the celebrity show "Through the Keyhole". An advertisement was placed in the British national and regional press asking for volunteers to be involved in the film. It was to be a show documenting the personal tastes of people in the British home. Two thousand people applied and fifty were chosen, from a range of ages, races, genders and social backgrounds. Parr was asked by Barker to be the stills photographer on the shoot, and created a subsequent book to accompany the documentary. Each of the titles he and Barker gave the photographs are quotes from people in the film, which inadvertently send themselves up. Subtitled "portrait of the nation's taste" these photographs give an insightful and amusing view of British taste in the 90s.

For Parr, the moral atrophy and preposterousness of our daily lives means we can only find salvation through adopting a certain sense of humour. Much of his work satirizes the banality, boredom and lack of meaning that he finds prevalent in modern times.

Parr is a member of Magnum Photos, and is still one of the country's most popular photojournalists, contributing to a wide range of printed media. He has won many awards throughout his career including the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award and, in 2006, Photokina's Eric Soloman Award for photojournalism.

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