Martin Parr: Kleingartner
Martin Parr’s affectionate homage to the German culture of allotment gardening
Martin Parr’s (born 1952) Allotment Gardeners is a fond and humorous portrait of one of the great German clichés: the allotment gardener. Photographing in five allotments in Düsseldorf and Krefeld, Parr met Mathis, just 15 years old, who runs the garden for his father, a multigenerational operation growing strictly organic fruit and vegetables; he also spoke with young parents who share a garden; with Ingo the cactus breeder; with Michael the miniature train enthusiast and with Petra the “tomato woman.
As always, Parr’s images achieve a rare balance of warmth and hilarity. “When people laugh and cry at the same time when looking at my pictures, that’s precisely the reaction the pictures evoke in me,” he says. “The things are neither fundamentally good, nor bad. I am always interested in portraying both extremes.