Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Martin Parr

Martin Parr: 'CupOfTea' (1995)
London Independant Photography hosted a talk by Martin Parr the other night.

I'd seen most of the photographs he showed before but it was interesting to hear him talk about why and how he does certain things. It would be so great to get to that point in your career where you can go around the world photographing whatever you want to, and then Magnum pays you for it.

There was a 'questions' bit at the end which was a bit weird, it seemed to be mostly either photography students saying things like "don't people get mad at you?!" or "what flash do you use?", or a few other people would raise their hand and then launch into this massive review of his life's work, summing up with "you're early stuff was much better" which just left him to go "err, ok". He seems like he is quite used to being very defensive, which was not entirely surprising but I felt stopped him from going very deep in his answers. Still very interesting though. It's unusual to find an artist with a sense of humour!

He also talked about how overlooked non-commercial photography is in Britain, and how that is (slowly) beginning to change, particularly with a major show at the Tate this summer.

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