Martin Parr is quoted to have said "With photography, I like to create fiction out of reality. I try and do this by taking society's natural prejudice and giving this a twist."
The truth is I haven't seen huge amounts of Parr's work but his name is synonymous with British photography from the last quarter century and it would be hard, despite not knowing his work extensively, to mistake his style. Since his 'Last Resort' photos of New Brighton beach near Liverpool published in 1986, Parr has been renowned for his garish and mesmorising documentation of the Brits. Parr's photos seem to operate on a pitch of their own; the composition, the colours and above all the theatricality. I'm not so sure that he is creating fiction out of reality. It seems more like he is casting a theatrical view point over an aperture of reality. He then freeze frames this view point and invites us to delight in it too. And we do.
Also undeniable is the sense of humour in his photos. It's not a snooty laugh though. Parr casts a strong but fond light on the human creature, doing its silly human things.
A selection of six of his latest works, chosen by Rocket Gallery Director Jonathan Stephenson and Parr, are presented as large scale pristine prints on perspex, loosely grouped under the title of 'time off'. You can see them for yourself at the modest Rocket Gallery space in the Tea Building, Bethnal Green Rd - until 9 Feb 2013. Highly recommended.