Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Martin Parr goes skiing

The Magnum photographer has left the rainy days of England behind and headed for the mountains

Kleine Scheidegg, Switzerland, 1994

We’ve only just this last week got a sprinkling of snow after months and months of rain and even now it's starting to melt but elsewhere it’s been business as usual with northern Europe getting it’s yearly blanket of snow and appropriately wintery weather. Photographer Martin Parr has shunned the rainy days of his much loved Britain over the last few decades and headed to naturally snowier climbs in Switzerland, and not-so-naturally in Dubai and Japan.

Artificial ski slope. England, 1986-89

I'm not a skier myself, although I have thought about it. The closest I've got is on the old dry slope at Hemel Hempstead when I was about 7 (pretty sure that's not me in the photo above) and donuting at the indoor slopes in Manchester but Parr's photos, which recently appeared in the New Yorker’s Snowsuit issue, make it look like a fun and brightly coloured way to spend a few days.

St Moritz, Switzerland, 2003

St Moritz, Switzerland, 2003

Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, 1990

Activity on the slopes lends itself perfectly to the way this Magnum photographer likes to work. There’s the tendency for people who would normally be in dark colours for winter to wear bright and bold ski suits and to express their more eccentric sides, there’s lots of activity all clustered together against dramatic backdrops created by the mountain scenery painted or otherwise and of course there is the element of surreal - sunbathers on the snow, not sand.

Indoor year-round skiing. Tokyo, Japan, 1996

See all the Martin Parr photographs which appeared in the New Yorker's Snowsuit issue here

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