by Nathalie Azoulai
Martin Parr, Benidorm, Spain, 1997. Anti-UV sunglasses the same colour as the towel their wearer is lying on. It’s an intense and deep blue, one that clashes with the image’s lightness and irony; a blue that stops us in our tracks; a blue seen in paintings, but more Fra Angelico than Yves Klein; the blue of religious images, the Virgin’s blue. It comes as a surprise to see this colour in such an anecdotal, irreligious setting, unless Parr’s aim was to hint that Western tourists worship at the altar of the Sun God.