abstract photography contemporary art experimental photography fine art light painting Maarten Rots Netherlands photo art



// Maarten is a photographer/visual artist from the Netherlands. He searches for abstraction, with a focus on the play of light and shadow on architectural elements, generally in urban surroundings. We are happy to present a set from his series of projected light shapes which he produced during one of the pandemic-induced lockdowns.

Although Maarten began his visual arts career with the production of short videos, many of which were screened at film festivals around the world, photography turned out to be his preferred medium. His work has been internationally exhibited, featured in many magazines, podcasts, and videos. And he is renowned for touring potential photo sites with his camper van, always in search of that special light.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”

Marcel Proust

What draws you to the arts?

“Art is a parallel universe where rules and conventions are negotiable, where you can challenge the norm and create your own version of reality. That is definitely what I need to balance out the constant barrage of ideals and concerns we surround ourselves with.”

What do you like best about this particular abstract photo project?

“It was fun to apply the experience I gained over the years with walking around in uncontrolled situations to a completely regulated setting. With the exception of that controlled situation, I continued to work in the exact same manner: I would walk around with my camera, paying close attention to how various layers interact while shifting my perspective, and I would photograph that to effectively convert a three-dimensional environment into a two-dimensional image.”

These photographs are a continuation of experiments with projections of light on Maarten´s studio wall, a process he began to explore last year when Covid-related lockdowns forced him to start working inside instead of his usual modus operandi, where he searches for special light on architecture outdoors.

“I started shaping conditions of light, shadow and texture within which I could move around to find compositions that I captured with my camera. For previous projects I collected lots of old slide projectors and I realized I could use these as light sources. A stained glass project I did in 2019 supplied me with some leftover pieces of coloured glass that I applied to change the colour of the light. In pieces of scrap metal I cut simple shapes and placed those inside the projectors to mask the light into geometric shapes. Adjusting the direction of the light sources and moving around with the camera I distorted the perspective, resulting in vibrant graphic imagery in which I am playing with the perception of space.”

Maarten dedicated the 22nd edition of his print magazine March & Rock to this process. You can preview (and purchase) a copy on his website. You can also subscribe to the magazine series there.

Click on the photos to see a larger image.


To see more of his photography visit Maarten´s website and his Instagram page

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