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Life's a Beach

Beach culture is fascinating, and it's drifted through Martin Parr's work throughout his career. Nothing brings unique aspects of a culture into focus quite like public spaces where people wear minimal clothing.
Parr has been photographing beaches for thirty years, documenting all aspects of them, including close-ups of sunbathers, rambunctious swimmers caught mid-plunge, and the eternal sandy picnic underway. 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 around 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. The exhibition brings to the fore Parr?s engagement with a cherished subject matter?that rare public space in which general absurdities and local quirks seamlessly fuse together.