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RPS Journal - The Year's 10 Best Photo Books, 2016
This is a fully revised and updated edition of Martin Parr’s highly successful book Autoportrait which was first published in 2000. Redesigned, it features a playable ‘labyrinth’ puzzle on the front cover and includes a large number of new images taken since its first publication. The book shows the remarkable shift from analogue to digital photography that has taken place over the period.
For the last thirty years, when Martin Parr has travelled on assignment throughout the world he has had his portrait taken – whether by a local studio photographer, a street photographer, or in a photo booth. The result is a true celebration of portrait taking – ranging from elaborate studio sets reminiscent of the heyday of the Victorian studio photographer, through to digitally manipulated images of Parr as Mr Universe, or images horrendously re-touched by a studio in their attempts to flatter him. Presented in chronological order, the photos follow Parr as he ages gently on his travels across continents. As with all Parr’s projects the book is not only hilarious but also comments on a world beyond the frame – not only in the apparent cultural differences between countries but also in its broader social and political references. It also reflects on identity and self, questioning the whole notion of the photographic portrait.
A member of the prestigious MAGNUM photo agency, Martin Parr is Britain’s best known contemporary photographer. Recognised as a brilliant satirist of contemporary life, his photographs have featured in books, newspapers and magazines throughout the world and have been exhibited in major galleries on every continent. His project Common Sense was exhibited simultaneously in more than 40 venues world-wide. In addition to his still photography Parr is a respected film-maker and his highly acclaimed documentary Think of England was screened on BBC TV. More recently, in 2014, he completed four films looking at life in the Black Country, as a result of a commission from Multistory. A major exhibition of his Black Country photographs was also held and the book of the work, Black Country Stories, was published by Dewi Lewis.
Hardback with labyrinth puzzle on the front cover
144 pages, 89 colour plates
155mm x 110mm