For much of his career, Martin Parr has excelled at skewering the eccentricities and peculiarities of contemporary national culture in his native Great Britain and beyond—in particular those having to do with food, tourism, bad fashion choices, and . . . more food. On a recent trip to Mexico, Parr was struck by the clear impact of America’s pop culture on Mexican life—the juxtaposition of Mickey Mouse with brightly colored saints, Nike logos with Day of the Dead skulls, and Coca Cola with cacti. Mexico presents his journey into and beyond the country’s clichés. Many of the visual themes will be familiar to Parr fans, including colorful and mocking close-ups of food, hats, signs, and souvenirs, garishly shot with medical efficiency. And a darker underlying theme emerges—as in much of his later work—of the corruption of authentic cultural forms by global consumer culture. This work both critiques and celebrates this corruption. As he puts it, “What I am saying is that it’s a good and a bad thing. I’m constantly trying to express ambiguity. And that’s what photography does very well.”
Martin Parr (born in Epsom, England, 1952 is a key figure in the world of photography. his photographs have been collected by museums worldwide, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Modern, London. Parr is a member of Magnum Photos.
Photographs by Martin Parr
Essay by Rogelio Villarreal
11 9/16 x 8 1/4 inches
81 four-color images