Martin Parr was born in Epsom, Surrey, UK, in 1952. When he was a boy, his budding interest in the medium of photography was encouraged by his grandfather George Parr, himself a keen amateur photographer.
Martin Parr studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic, from 1970 to 1973.
Since that time, Martin Parr has worked on numerous photographic projects. He has developed an international reputation for his innovative imagery, his oblique approach to social documentary, and his input to photographic culture within the UK and abroad.
In 1994 he became a full member of Magnum Photographic Corporation.
In recent years, he has developed an interest in film-making, and has started to use his photography within different conventions, such as fashion and advertising.
In 2002 a large retrospective of Martin Parr’s work was initiated by the Barbican Art Gallery and the National Media Museum. This show toured Europe for the next 5 years.
Martin Parr was appointed Professor of Photography in 2004 at The University of Wales Newport campus.
Martin Parr was Guest Artistic Director for Rencontres D’Arles in 2004.
In 2006 Martin Parr was awarded the Erich Salomon Prize and the resulting Assorted Cocktail show opens at Photokina.
In 2008 Martin Parr was guest curator at New York Photo Festival, curating the New Typologies exhibition.
Parrworld opened at Haus de Kunst, Mucich, in 2008. The show exhibited Parr’s own collection of objects, postcards, his personal photography collection of both British and International artists, photo books and finally his own photographs. The exhibition toured Europe for the following 2 years.
At PhotoEspana, 2008, Martin Parr wins the Baume et Mercier award in recognition of his professional career and contributions to contemporary photography.
Martin Parr curated the Brighton Photo Biennial that took place in October 2010.
More recently Martin has been working on a 4-year project documenting the Black Country, an area of the English West Midlands, in conjunction with Multistory. He is currently updating the History of the Photobook (Vol 3), and often does much work to promote new photographers.
Martin Parr has published over 70 books of his own work and edited another 30.