On Saturday the 4th of June Metropolis, a solo-exhibition by Dutch photographer Martin Roemers will open at TORCH gallery in Amsterdam. His work is represented by galleries in New York, Paris and Dubai. After an impressive exhibition at Huis Marseille TORCH had the chance to work with the artist in the Netherlands. Metropolis is a report of his travels to mega-cities with over 10 million citizens. He sought out a great number of these metropolises, ranging from New York City to Tokyo. He aims his lens at the interaction between the masses and the individual and on those little moments of ritualistic silence found in the turbulent dynamics of a overflowing cultural melting pot.
The images from Metropolis contain all the visual aspects that can make these places so appealing; a ruthless bustle and a comforting anonymity, bright colours and compelling movements. These cities convey urgency in every waking moment. It can be a struggle to survive there and progress trumps all. Martin Roemers expertly captures all these components with his trusty analogue camera. By cleverly playing with lengths of exposure he manages to direct the eye of the viewer to the unique characteristics of a city. Every metropolis has his own colour palette, its own arrangement of cultural influences that makes these places instantly recognizable to anyone who has visited them. Roemers finds visual beauty in poverty and decay but can appreciate displays of wealth and power just as much. He creates his images from an elevated standpoint with long exposure so he can capture all the movements that make up a city. The amount of captured acts, impressions and gestures slow down time and allow for some unexpected introspection.
In Metropolis Martin Roemers exposes the often confronting contrasts between wealth and poverty and between ancient cultural habits and new techniques. He presents the reality of so many people living so closely together; the filth, the crowds, the inventiveness and an endlessly complex community. He is the classic traveling photographer living in a new world in a permanent condition of change. His works speak with wonder about places that one can probably never really know, even if one visits them a thousand times.
Martin Roemers (1962) lives and works in Delft, The Netherlands. He studied photography at the AKI academy in Enschede, The Netherlands. His work is exhibited worldwide with recent hightlights including Metropolis at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam and the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Mumbai and Relics of the Cold War / Relikte des Kalten Krieges at the Deutsches Historisch Museum, Berlin. He is the two time recipient of the World Press Photo Award (2006, 2011) and received the Lens Culture Award for Metropolis in 2015. His work is represented by Acte2 gallery in Paris, Anastasia Photo in New York, East Wing in Dubai and by TORCH in Amsterdam.