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Only Human: Martin Parr

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The exhibition Only Human: Martin Parr presents some of the photographer’s most widely known images alongside more recent, previously unpublished works. At the heart of the selection is one of Parr’s favourite themes: people from around the world – with a special focus on the artist’s wry observations of his fellow Brits.

Although best known for capturing ordinary people, Parr has also photographed celebrities throughout his career. Only Human is the first showcase to feature a selection of portraits of renowned personalities, most of which have never been exhibited before. Among the subjects are British fashion legends Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith, contemporary artists Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry, and world-renowned football player Pelé.

The exhibition also includes a series of self portraits depicting Parr during encounters with studio  and street photographers, as well as inside photo booths around the world. With these ironic ‘autoportraits’ the artists humorously questions the nature and business of portrait photography.

Some of his recent works revolve around the quirks and characteristics of popular leisure activities – a topic Parr has been exploring  since the 1980s. In colour-saturated pictures, he captures people at the beach, during tennis tournaments, or at any other event where our public and private spheres converge – always revealing his extraordinary eye for humorous cliches and eccentricities.

Martin Parr (b. 1952 in Epsom, Surrey) is renowned as a brilliant satirist of contemporary life, and author of more than 30 photo books to date. His work is represented in the collections of major institutions such as the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Tate Modern, London. Martin Parr is a member of Magnum Photos.



For further information visit National Portrait Gallery

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