Photographs by Martin Parr, Introduction by Rogelio Villarreal
Martin Parr show us, almost shamelessly, the likeable and hateful aspects of our characters – themselves a product of our history and culture. It’s a merging of the dramatic and the picturesque; the folkloric with the grotesque. Our caricature or our essence – or both. Maybe we Mexican are all portrayed in these photos. -Rogelio Villarreal
This is Martin Parr’s journey into and beyond the clichés of Mexico – a photographic enquiry into the battle being fought out on the streets of Mexico between visual cultures: Mexican vernacular versus the brands of American and global consumerism. While we are at once in recognizable territory – many of the series’ visual themes will be familiar to Parr fans, including colorful and mocking close ups of food, hats, signs and souvenirs, garishly shot with medical efficiency – there are new motifs here too. For instance, the series includes portraits of Mexican working men sporting baseball caps with American logos; what is surprising for Parr is how he grips us with straight records of human faces, with photographer and subject both in the act of mutual contemplation. Parr’s Mexico photographs are typically comic and direct, balancing affection and rudeness towards his subjects. His essay offers a critique of globalization, even while Parr is clearly captivated by the visual pollution it generates.
Martin Parr is a polymath of contemporary photography. Artist, collector, curator and writer, he is recognized as a brilliant observer and satirist of consumer culture. Author of over 30 photography books, including Common Sense, Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight and Boring Postcards, his photographs have been collected by museums worldwide, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the New York Museum of Modern Art, and Tate Modern, London. He lives in Bristol and is a member of Magnum Photos.
Rogelio Villarreal is a Mexican cultural critic and iconoclast. He is the author of El dilemma de Bukoski (Bukowski’s Dilemma, 2004) and editorial director of Replicante magazine. He lives in Guadalajara.
21 x 30 cm /8.25 x 11.75 inches,
80 Colour photographs