Martin Parr hosts portrait sittings at his new show

A rare opportunity to be the subject of the social commentator’s discerning gaze

Time Off by Martin Parr
Time Off by Martin Parr | Image: © Martin Parr/Magnum/courtesy Rocket Gallery, London

Quirky socialcommentary, mischievous humour and intriguing camera angles define MartinParr’s photography. So a rare opportunity to sit for a personal portrait bythis internationally celebrated British photographer is one to seize withboth hands.

Time Off by Martin Parr
Time Off by Martin Parr | Image: © Martin Parr/Magnum/courtesy Rocket Gallery, London

To celebrate a newshow of work at east London gallery Rocket, Parr is setting up a temporarystudio space within the exhibition and willshoot 96 original portraits in the course of a single day (9am to 6pm on Sunday December 16). Whether sittersplump for an individual portrait, a shot of themselves with a friend orpartner, or a potential heirloom snap of family members, Parr will oblige,capturing the image in his own distinctive style. Each signed photograph isavailable in a choice of sizes: 8in x 12in (£375), 12in x 16in (£495) or 20in x30in (£1,250). Slots for sittings will be filled on afirst-come-first-served basis via www.martinparr.co.uk.

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Those who are pippedto the post by swifter finger-clicking fans can, however, enjoy the main bodyof the exhibition, which opens on Friday November 30 and will feature six monumentalphotographs shot between 2002 and 2012 in locations across the world (France in first picture, Vietnam in second picture, Mexico in third picture).Almost painterly in style, the Time Off photographs fill the entirety of thegallery walls. The original archival pigment photographs are printed in Parr’sstudio, and each is available in an edition of five (40in x 60in, £8,400) or 10 (20in x30in, £4,320).  

Time Off by Martin Parr
Time Off by Martin Parr | Image: © Martin Parr/Magnum/courtesy Rocket Gallery, London

These works mark asignificant milestone in the artist’s career trajectory. As JonathanStephenson, Rocket’s gallery director, observes: “This commanding set of images– taken 30 years on from Parr’s classic New Brighton series – confirms hisdevelopment as an artist and as a social commentator observing both comic andpoignant scenes.” The subjects of the 96 yet-to-be-taken portraits will play a part, however small, in shaping the direction of Parr’s work over the next30 years. For them, it'll be fascinating (possibly even disconcertingly so) to seehow his critical eye captures their strengths and foibles on camera. Onething’s certain: the results are likely to confound expectation.

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