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Work / Photography

Surreal depictions of public space and its temporary inhabitants by photographer Michael Martin

Michael Martin’s photographs observing scenarios in public space include pumpkin weigh-offs, leather chaps, enquiring tourists and lost buckets. Interested in recording and scrutinising these detached people and places, and their manic pursuit of leisure and tourism, Michael’s work reveals the incidental postures and moments in their lives and environments.

His photographs are funny and often surreal, with leisure-lovers popping out from behind trees, lazily embracing on vista points and hiding behind ornate lamp-posts with cigarettes. Michael avoids making a spectacle of his society by setting up the frames with a degree of attentive frugality, they can be uncomfortable and as Michael says “they exploit our lack of good taste and good judgement by picturing it all in the brightest of colours, exposing our petty vanities to the world.”

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Michael Martin: Fly Emirates, Half Moon Bay

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Michael Martin: Reunification Palace, Saigon

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Michael Martin: Lotta’s Fountain, San Francisco

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Michael Martin: San Miguel, California

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Michael Martin: Boardwalk, Santa Cruz

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Michael Martin: Bay Model, Sausalito