Since 1985 Martin Parr has been capturing the kitsch culture of seaside resort towns the world over. Starting with the tattered charm of New Brighton near Liverpool in his famous photo essay The Last Resort, the photographer’s anthropological take on beach culture has moved from Englands’ north-west coast to Italy, Spain, and as far as Peru and Argentina. A comprehensive travelling exhibition of his beach photography Life’s a Beach has been making international rounds and is currently on show at Le Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image in Nice.
In tandem with the show’s stop in Nice, last week Martin and his studio took to the the city’s Promenade des Anglais to capture visitors all along the seafront with the crisp and lushly saturated lens he is so well known for. Shooting and printing this work on the same day, the instantaneous fruits of these excursions on the French Riviera have been turned into a pop-up exhibition running for the duration of Life’s a Beach in Nice. The striking images only further cement Parr’s reputation as an expert documentarian of the melting pot of characters – the peacocking and self-conscious alike – that populate the world’s beaches, finding the universal and the particular in their tan lines, freckles and ill-fitting swimsuits.
Martin Parr Life’s a Beach, Un Anglais à Nice at Le Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image is on until 13 September.