A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

091 - Martin Parr

Episode Summary

Martin Parr with a quick photobook trivia quiz and on his new Foundation, Magnum, his distinctive style and why he sold 12,000 photobooks to Tate Modern. This episode of the podcast is sponsored by THE CHARCOAL BOOK CLUB - the latest and greatest photobooks, expertly curated and delivered to you door with free shipping and no hassles. enter the annual CHICO HOT SPRINGS PORTFOLIO REVIEW AND CHARCOAL PUBLISHING PRIZE now at charcoalbookclub.com!! Very special listener offer: use code 'asmallvoice' to claim a previous book of the month of your choice for FREE when you join!! inform the mind, inspire the soul.

Episode Notes

The man who the Daily Telegraph declared to be, “arguably Britain’s greatest living photographer” had a suburban childhood in the provincial county of Surrey, England, where his budding interest in the medium of photography was encouraged by his grandfather George Parr, himself a keen amateur photographer.

Martin went on to study photography at Manchester Polytechnic in the early 70s and since that time has worked on many, many photographic projects, publishing over 100 books of his own work and editing another 30. 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.

In 1994 Martin became a full member of Magnum Photos, scraping in by a single vote, in the face of strong opposition to his inclusion from some of the old guard, including Philip Jones Griffiths and Henri Cartier Bresson himself. He has since become an important and influential Magnum Member where he served as President between 2013 and 2017.

Martin has also developed an interest in filmmaking, and has started to use his photography within different genres, such as fashion and advertising. In 2002 the Barbican Art Gallery and the National Media Museum initiated a large retrospective of Martin’s work and this exhibition toured Europe for the next 5 years.

Martin was Professor of Photography at The University of Wales Newport campus from 2004 to 2012 and Guest Artistic Director for the Arles photo festival in 2004. In 2006 he was awarded the Erich Salomon Prize and the resulting Assorted Cocktail show opened at Photokina and in 2008 was guest curator at New York Photo Festival.

Parrworld opened at Haus de Kunst, Munich, in 2008. The show exhibited Martin’s own collection of objects, postcards, photography prints by both British and International photographers, photo books and a new project from Parr entitled Luxury. The exhibition toured Europe for the following 2 years.

At PhotoEspana in 2008, Martin won the Baume et Mercier Award in recognition of his professional career and contributions to contemporary photography. He is co-author with Gerry Badger of the exhuastive three volume series The Photobook: A History. In March 2016 Strange and Familiar, curated by Parr, opened at the Barbican, London. The show examines how international photographers from 1930s onwards have photographed in the UK.

Martin was awarded the Sony World Photography Award for Outstanding Contribution to Photography in April 2017. In Autumn 2017 the Martin Parr Foundation - which is a gallery and archive dedicated to supporting and preserving the photographic legacy of not only Martin himself but also of photographers who made, and continue to make, important work focused on the British Isles - opened in Bristol.

Martin is currently working on an exhibition for the National Portrait Gallery which opens in March 2019.

In episode 091, Martin discusses, among other things:


Martin: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

MPF: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

“I’m pretty happy with the way it’s turned out, to be honest. I have to kick myself sometimes to realise I’m still earning a living from my hobby.”