In conjunction with the May release of the beach-bag-size edition of Life’s a Beach, Aperture is presenting an exhibition featuring the best selections from Martin Parr’s beach photography.
Parr has been photographing beaches for thirty years, documenting all aspects of them, including close-ups of sunbathers, rambunctious swimmers caught mid-plunge, and the eternal sandy picnic underway. His international career, in fact, could well be traced to the launch of The Last Resort, a 1986 book depicting the seaside resort of New Brighton, near Liverpool.
What may be less known is that this obsession has led Parr to photograph beaches around the world. This compilation, his first on the topic, presents photos of beachgoers on far-flung shores, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and, of course, the UK. The exhibition brings to the fore Parr’s engagement with a cherished subject matter—that rare public space in which general absurdities and local quirks seamlessly fuse together.
This selection of photographs shows Parr at his best, startling us with moments of captured absurdity and immersing us in rituals and traditions associated with beach life the world over.
Martin Parr (born in Epsom, England, 1952) is a key figure in the world of photography, recognized as a brilliant satirist of contemporary life. Author of over thirty photography books, including Common Sense,Our True Intent Is All for Your Delight, and Boring Postcards, his photographs have been collected by museums worldwide, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and Tate Modern, London. A retrospective of his work continues to tour major museums around the world since opening at the Barbican Art Gallery, London, in 2002. Parr is a member of Magnum Photos.
Life’s a Beach is made possible with support from Canon U.S.A., Inc., Gosling’s Rum, and Mondrian Soho.