Life’s a Beach
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In the United Kingdom, one is never more than seventy-five miles away from the coast. With this much shoreline, it’s not surprising that there is a strong British tradition of photography by the seaside. American photographers may have given birth to street photography, but according to photographer Martin Parr, “in the UK, we have the beach!” Here, he asserts, people can relax, be themselves, and show off all those traces of mildly eccentric British behavior. Parr has been photographing this subject for many decades, documenting all aspects of the tradition. 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 across 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, among others. This book shows Parr at his best, startling us with the moments of captured absurdity and immersing us in the rituals and traditions associated with beach life the world over.
Life’s a Beach, the exhibition, opens in Lyon, France in September 2012 (traveling internationally thereafter).
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 the 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, and he was featured in Cruel and Tender, the Tate Modern’s major survey of photography in 2003. Parr is a member of Magnum Photos.
Photographs by Martin Parr
Designed by Xavier Barral
11 x 9 inches
Signed and numbered limited edition of 1,000
98 four-color images