Who are you?
My name is Maarten Rots, I’m a visual artist, mainly working with photography as a medium.
Where in the world do you live?
I’m from the Netherlands, but have made it a habit to live and work out of my van while traveling Europe to make my photographic work.
What was the first camera you picked up?
At eight years old I was given my mother’s old Kodak Instamatic, a nice little plastic box which used film cartridges and flashcubes when you needed to flash. I never got serious about photography back then, but I remember how exciting it was to take photographs and await the results.
Tell us a little more about the picture that you submitted for lofi?
It’s a recent photograph I took last October while I was traveling through Italy, a reflecting window in the city of Udine. Ever since I got serious about photography I’ve been interested in using reflective surfaces to capture several layers in one singe exposure, without resorting to digital image manipulation. I love how painterly and graphic the resulting images can be and continue to be amazed how taking a photograph can transform a fairly mundane situation into something magical.
Does it have a name?
Nope, no name or title. I prefer to simply use the location and year as a way to refer to a specific photograph. It’s a bit dry maybe, but by giving it an actual title I feel I’m pushing the viewer into a specific direction too much.
Most memorable place visited as a photographer?
Not a specific location, but I have found that I am more likely to capture interesting compositions in smaller cities and towns than in large metropolises.
One place you’d like to visit as a photographer?
I’ve given this some thought and honestly, I don’t know. I never really plan to visit a specific location, the way I work is more of a trial and error kind of process, quite random really. I walk around in a city and depending on the light, the architecture, my mood and other variables that are mostly outside my control I either have a successful walk that leaves me with several photographs that might survive my criteria, or I have a less successful walk and decide to move on to a different location or try again later. I love the moment of discovery and not knowing whether a place will lead to new discoveries adds to the pleasure of the process.
What’s next in the pipeline?
I’m always working on the next issue of March & Rock, my self-published magazine, currently at its 24th edition. Aiming to release four new editions each year I have found it’s a good way to keep myself sharp and to work out the direction my work is developing in and share it with subscribers worldwide. As I’m currently back in the Netherlands in between travels, I will be working out of my studio, playing around with old slide projectors and pieces of coloured glass to create situations that allow me to discover and photograph quite graphic composition – a process I developed during the first Covid-related lockdowns in 2020.
Where in London would you like to see your work? (I will see if I can get near it!)
In the Tate modern 😉
Hashtag you most overuse?
When I started using Instagram I came up with #singleexposure to clarify that my photos are in fact captured with a single click of the shutter button, not digitally altered multiple exposures. I find it important to stress that my photographs are representations of reality. I hope to convey that by taking time we can experience our everyday surroundings in a different way. Even ugly places and unpleasant situations can contain beauty if we are open to seeing it. I still use this hashtag with almost every post as it still applies to the work I do today.