Analysis of Martin Parr

Since the 1960 Martin Parr has been creating surreal images of the middle class. He is often accused of being voyeuristic, though he would more readily describe his own work as being comedic. His images are all very bright and colorful and depict the everyday idiosyncrasies. Parr claims that his works functions on two levels the first level is comedy which serves to draw people in and the second is to create deeper discourse on the excesses of society. Parr’s photographs often caricature people reducing them down to a singular thing, whilst this works really well for comedic expression it ignores the complexities of individual people.

The caricaturing of people in his photographs sometimes serves as a way of perceiving the believes and values of a particular place. For example in the photographs taken during the races in Atlanta USA, the value placed on beauty can clearly be seen. However mostly the photographs seem to take advantage of the unwitting subjects, who are unaware that they are being caricatured in this way.

Overall, I enjoy Parr’s photographs, however he seems to reside on a dubious moral and ethical line.

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