Work / Photography

Martin Parr’s new book collects together garish foods from around the world

From the naff to the greasy, Martin Parr’s new book Real Food published by Phaidon is a glorious collection of everyday meals and snacks. Taken in fast food restaurants, greasy spoons, street stalls and barbecues from across the world, the book serves as a best of Parr’s iconic food shots.

Real Food includes over 200 photographs spanning a 25 year period and encapsulates Parr’s superb ability to capture a nation’s identity through a single photograph, whether it’s plump chips swimming in gravy or an alarmingly coloured jelly that seemingly wobbles with delight.

Parr’s images are an antidote to the current trend of artisan produce and Masterchef-style meals, where processed foods and E numbers are proudly presented in full garish colour. It’s a gastronomic joy to flick through the saturated pages and the photographer’s images have been deliciously paired together, creating a dialogue within the wordless book. A5 sized, a final flourish is the book’s wipe clean cover, which is adorned in the familiar gingham tablecloth seen everywhere in local cafes.


Martin Parr: Tijuana, Mexico, 2003 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos.Real Food, Martin Parr, Phaidon


Martin Parr: Real Food, Phaidon


Martin Parr: Real Food, Phaidon


Martin Parr, New York City, New York, USA, 2001 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos. Real Food, Martin Parr, Phaidon


Martin Parr: Real Food, Phaidon


Martin Parr: Real Food, Phaidon


Martin Parr: Real Food, Phaidon