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.
Martin developed an interest in filmmaking, and has started to use his photography within different conventions, such as fashion and advertising.
In 2002 the Barbican Art Gallery and the National Media Museum initiated a large retrospective of Martin Parr’s work. This show toured Europe for the next 5 years.
Martin Parr was Professor of Photography at The University of Wales Newport campus from 2004 to 2012.
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.
In 2013, Martin was appointed visiting Professor of Photography at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.
More recently Martin has just completed a 4-year project documenting the Black Country, an area of the English West Midlands, in conjunction with Multistory. Phaidon have published the third volume of the highly influential History of the Photobook in Spring 2014 and Martin is also working on a book about the History of Chinese Photobooks to be published by Aperture in Spring 2015.
Martin Parr has published over 80 books of his own work and edited another 30.