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British photographer scoops top Spanish prize

Latest update : 2008-06-24

Praised for his "eccentric and satirical eye", British photographer Martin Parr has been awarded the top prize at PhotoEspana, Spain's biggest international photography festival.

British photographer Martin Parr, whose works take a satirical look at modern society, was on Tuesday awarded the top prize at PhotoEspana, Spain's biggest international photography festival.

The director of the festival, Claude Bussac, said his works depicting middle class life in the United States and Europe in the 1970s and 1980s "had left a mark and influenced future generations of photographers.

"His eccentric and satirical eye, along with his film and book projects, make him one of the most accomplished photographers of the second half of the twentieth century," she added.

Along with the award, PhotoEspana will buy 12,000 euros (18,700 US dollars) worth of Parr's works.

"While I consider myself to be a traditional photographer, I use the language of marketing and advertising, which is full of colour and strange perspectives, to deal with topics like Americanization or globalization," Parr told reporters.

Born in Surrey, England in 1952, Parr studied photography at Manchester Polytechnic. He has published over 30 books of his works, which often employ garish colours that deal with consumerism, family, relationships and food.

The theme of PhotoEspana this year is the physical space that surrounds human activities. Among its 70 exhibitions are retrospectives of the work of American Eugene Smith and Britain's Bill Brandt.

The event kicked off on June 4 and runs until July 27.

PhotoEspana has evolved into one of the largest photography exhibitions in the world since it was first held in 1998. It received 600,000 visitors last year when the top prize went to Swiss-born American photographer Robert Frank.

Date created : 2008-06-24