Tokyo, Japan, 1998. Martin Parr, Magnum/Phaidon

Martin Parr’s collection of food snapshots shows off his uncanny ability to mix pleasure and horror.

If you’ve seen Instagrams of a friend’s reheated chili, you know food photography is best left to the professionals. But for that nearly impossible mix of pleasure and horror, leave it to Martin Parr.

Parr’s new book, Real Food (Phaidon), shows us the the simplest culinary pleasures found around the world. Documented between 1994 and 2015, Real Food is all about the fried, gooey, colorful, and creamy things, with an occasional fruit and vegetable thrown in.

Shot in Parr’s signature style that’s as straightforward as it is playful, the book reads as a funny anthropologic survey of how gross we’re willing to get when we want something cheap and tasty. Only a truly disturbed person could say no to a pink cream puff covered in sprinkles, though.

Tijuana, Mexico, 2003. (Martin Parr, Magnum/Phaidon)
Stara Fužina, Slovenia, 2004. (Martin Parr, Magnum/Phaidon)

Book, $24.95 at Phaidon.

About the Author

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