Nov 30, 2020
"Martin Parr's celebrated photographs bridge the divide between art and documentary photography. His studies of the idiosyncrasies of mass culture and consumerism around the world, his innovative imagery, and his prolific output have placed him firmly at the forefront of contemporary art. He is an avid collector and maker of photobooks. His own photobooks include The Last Resort (1986), Common Sense (iggg) and Boring Postcards (Phaidon Press, 1999), and he is the subject of the monograph Martin Parr by Val Williams (Phaidon Press, 2002)."
Together with Gerry Badger he is the co-author of The Photobook: A History, a beautiful three-volume set of books that offer an engrossing, admittedly subjective survey of the "best" photography books ever published, beginning with early experiments in the medium in mid-19yh-century England and ending with "raucous Japanese photo-diaries of the 1990s."
I question Martin about his collection criteria - how he arrived at "best," and how various artistic and social movements influenced the look and content of photobooks over the decades.