November 30, 2009

Dubai: Getting Pinked

DUBAI. The Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge. 2007.  Contact email: New York : Paris : London : Tokyo :  Contact phones: New York : +1 212 929 6000 Paris: + 33 1 53 42 50 00 London: + 44 20 7490 1771 Tokyo: + 81 3 3219 0771  Image URL:

In 2007, Magnum photographer Martin Parr was drawn to Dubai as an example of the raging excess of wealth — just before major economic systems hit the skids and the rich nearly everywhere toned it down.

Today, as the financial status of this hedonistic over-engineered play world teeters at the edge of financial collapse, becoming the latest flash point in the worldwide financial crisis, Parr’s shots from Dubai, as part of his Parrworld series, are like salt in the wound. I’ve never seen any analysis of this specific photo, so I don’t know if the women in the background, for example, are friends, relatives or even wives. What’s unmistakable, though, is the mixture of the prayer beads and the man, and babysitter in traditional dress embedded in the stinking rich pink-pastel, designer-everything, luxury hotel suite vernacular of Las Vegas/Beverly Hills.

(photo: Martin Parr/Magnum)

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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