A founding member of the berlin1020 street photography collective, Berlin-based Martin Waltz has produced an award-winning portfolio of ordinary German life over the past few years. He documents commuters, shops, youth subcultures, year-end celebrations, unknown actors getting ready for concerts, immigrants, the elderly and much more in carefully framed coloured or monochromatic shots. Martin is particularly skilled at highlighting moments of tenderness and connection in the middle of activity – for instance, a couple kisses near a crowd on a smoky night and another converses happily over drinks at a table just by a street. The fragility and transiency of an urban existence are keenly observed and exhibited before the viewer.
Photography, for Martin, is a poetic endeavor. Through his works, he continually emphasises the contrast between the soft and fluid human shape and the hard and static fabric of city infrastructure.
“I think many things influence my work beyond photography, like music ranging from J.S. Bach to contemporary electronic music and hiphop,” says the photographer. “Literature like the work of J.P. Sartre, Paul Bowles and Michel Houellebecq, from the film noir movies to Jim Jarmush, Wong Kar-wai and the recent Victoria, the world of painting between Rembrandt, Edward Hopper and A.R. Penck. Poetry with Baudelaire, Gottfried Benn and Paul Celan. And, of course, all the mundane stuff of modern pop culture ranging from TV series like The Wire to music videos and advertising. I’m a regular visitor to museums and photographic exhibitions of all genres. I’m incredibly curious. I’m constantly looking for visual input.”
Apart from his work as an artistic and commercial photographer, Martin Waltz is a partner at the digital marketing agency marketinghelfer. You will find selections from several of his series below. Discover more on his website.
Images used with permission. Copyright of Martin Waltz.