Martin Parr’s extensive survey of conspicuous consumption and wealth, Luxury, was concluded in 2009 as a book and international touring exhibition. Parr’s access to the most exclusive calendar events internationally can be understood against the wider financial conditions that proliferated after the 2008 recession in substantial parts of the developed world, a moment he sites as the end of a more overt display of wealth. Parr’s subjects include parties, horse races and notable luxury events including the Millionaires Fair, Moscow, the Dubai Art Fair and the Art BaselMiami. Designed with an appropriately luxurious silver-foiled padded leatherette cover and introduced with an argument for a new morality by leading British fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, Luxury is an articulate and forthright evaluation of the era as the financial bubble burst.Luxury extends Parr’s engagement with subjects that have remained remote from the preoccupations of much Documentary practice. By fore-grounding the affluent, exclusive and ostentatious, he has worked to consider aspects of modern society that can often be difficult to access, self aware and guarded. As a contribution to contemporary photographic practice and our understanding of the potential of the medium as a tool of social enquiry, the work is highly significant. It challenges the orthodoxy of the concerned observer that persists in documentary narratives and consolidates new territory for documentary research.Parr succeeds in progressing a piece of work that is a singular, refined and complex appraisal of the trends, tastes and social mores of those affluent at key international events. The series comprises 35 photographic works and was completed in 2009. The photographs Parr made was published under the title Luxury by Chris Boot, The work was exhibited internationally –notably at Gun Gallery, Stockholm 2009, Nicola von Senger, Zurich 2009, at Photography Festivals in Bratislava and Rennes (both 2010), Janet Borden Gallery, New York 2010, Bogota Photography Festival 2011 and most recently at Pekin Fine Art, Beijing 2012.
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||112|
|Publication status||Published - 31 Oct 2009|
- Martin Parr
- middle classes and photography