In the United Kingdom, one is never more than seventy-five miles away from the coast. With this much shoreline, its not surprising that there is a strong British tradition of photography by the seaside. American photographers may have given birth to street photography, but according to photographer Martin Parr, in the UK, we have the beach! Here, he asserts, people can relax, be themselves, and show off all those traces of mildly eccentric British behavior. Parr has been photographing this subject for many decades, documenting all aspects of the tradition. His international career, in fact, could well be traced to the launch of The Last Resort, a 1986 book depicting the seaside resort of New Brighton, near Liverpool. What may be less known is that this obsession has led Parr to photograph beaches across the world. This compilation, his first on the topic, presents photos of beachgoers on far-flung shores, including Argentina, Brazil, China, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Japan, the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and of course, the UK, among others. This book shows Parr at his best, startling us with the moments of captured absurdity and immersing us in the rituals and traditions associated with beach life the world over.
Martin Parr is an Associate Member of Magnum Photos. His work has appeared in the major magazines and newspapers. He is internationaly regarded as one of the leading British photgraphers and his work is widely shown in Europe and America. In 1991 he worked with the BBC on the television series Signs of the Times.