Opulence

Martin Parr has exhibited his "Luxury" series at the Third Line Gallery, Dubai and as part of "Parrworld" at the Haus der Kunst in Munich. "Parrworld", a collection of objects, postcards, photographs and photo books by international artists, together with Parr's own photographs, will tour Europe for the next two years.

www.martinparr.com

Luxury

Clare College May Ball, Cambridge, England, 2005

This series of photographs shows the different ways people display their wealth.

Shot in various locations, from art fairs to horse racing, and in many countries, I have selected situations where people are comfortable showing off their wealth. Designer clothes, champagne and parties are all part of this repertoire.

As well as the more established wealth hot spots in Europe and America there are photographs from the emerging world, such as the Millionaire Fair in Moscow, the Dubai Art Fair and the Motor show in Beijing.

Traditionally the portrayal of poverty has been the domain of the "concerned photographer", but I photograph wealth in the same spirit. When the new emerging middle classes demand and receive the luxury goods that so many of us take for granted, it will put considerable pressure on the world's resources. We are seeing the first manifestations of this: soaring oil prices brought on in part by exceptional demand from China and India; food prices escalating as crops are diverted into biofuels.

When the photographs are exhibited these things are not always stated, but I am happy to share the ultimate political motive behind the new body of work.

The Millionaire Fair at the Crocus Expo International Exhibition Center, Moscow, 2007

Attendees at a Hollywood charity function, Los Angeles, 2000

The Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge, Dubai, 2007

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