Mart Engelen refers in his work to existentialism meaning 'to the mood and thought of it' in which his conception of freedom and value arise from his view of the individual. He uses black and white photography as a medium to reinforce this. "The word is now loosely applied to so many things that it no longer means anything at all.Since we are ultimately alone, isolated islands of subjectivity in an objective world, we have absolute freedom over our internal nature, and the source of our value can only be internal."
Gallery Camera Work Berlin showed Mart Engelen's work in 2008 at the group exhibition 'AFRIKA' between other artists such as Leni Riefenstahl, Peter Beard, Irving Penn, Nick Brandt and Bruno Barbey.
His first solo exhibition at Young Gallery Brussels in 2003 Mart Engelen showed a personal choice out of his photography collection and published his first book ' Memories'
Followed up by two more book publications Biarritz( 2004) ,portraits and reportage images, and My Dog Aapje ( 2006), a personal tribute to his dog Aapje.
As for photographer Mart Engelen it is essential that photography itself is not the catalyst to another art form but to seek and reveal the untouched and purity of its moment in a spilt second of its invulnerability. To record the art 'that is the world around us' is not his final act.It is for him the principle, a start, to a continuing process to develop and highlight details of that particular moment of existence through a specific technical approach in which deficiency of the image can be essential. In this Mart Engelen brings into his work the existentialism through' the real photo reality'. Portraits like Suzanne, Valentine and Marlana are outstanding pieces on its own and a good example in which he emphasize his philosophy about photography and our reality. His outdoors compositions of the nature elements in the untouched setting with or without the human figure are his own' natures mortes' in which he also have the keen eye for the details that only will come through by his touch of processing.
It actually counts for both, his 'natures mortes' as well as his portrait photography, where he captures existence through the unpredictable, as we can see with his portraits of Georg Baselitz, Jean Dieuzaide, Theo Kars and the images of 'Les Gitanes de Camargue'.
He is influenced by the 'French Humanists' and the 'French Film Noir' which is vivid in his photography and this as a topic still inspires him.Mart Engelen is based in France as well as in The Netherlands.
His desire and beauty for the original black and white photography is translated and to be shared in the international bi-annual publication of #59 Magazine of which he is the founder ,director and photographer of.(
The photographs of Mart Engelen can be found in a constantly growing number of private, public and corporate collections throughout the U.S.A and Europe.