Exploring a set of images featuring Gucci watches shot by Martin Parr in England—the country which has been most enduring inspiration for the photographer’s career—by Kyle Chayka.
Both compelled and amused by his birthplace, Martin Parr critiques it in his images, offering biting satire on long-established English archetypes and conservative society.
Stately homes in the United Kingdom’s countryside are bastions of tradition. The Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, a country estate rebuilt in the 17th century, embodies a world often captured in period films. The gridded neoclassical facade and manicured lawn are testament to heritage, but it’s the people who bring the building to life, from young tourists getting out of the city to the gardener who meticulously prunes rose bushes, which have grown there since the 1930s.
Back in London, fog and gray streets make colors stand out, like a bright-red coffee cup or the striped band of a wristwatch. The city’s cobblestoned streets are the gateway to its fantastical interiors, where everything lights up once you enter the doors. Such a space is Maison Assouline, in a banking hall designed in 1922 by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The publisher has installed an all-encompassing lifestyle hub to show off its lavishly produced art books, including Gucci’s Blind for Love, a limited edition book documenting the Cruise 2017 fashion show.
How do we accurately depict places we’re too embedded in to be objective? Martin Parr simply keeps his eyes open to the reality of the street, observing while judging just enough to let us know he’s nowhere near an unbiased viewer. He already knows the insides of everything and gives us glimpse of how he sees it.