Portfolio / Food / Form over Function / Review

SUBMISSION REVIEW (SERIES) - LENSCULTURE EMERGING TALENT AWARD 2016 ON THE FORM OVER FUNCTION PROJECT:

These pictures make me think of an updated take on Edward Weston’s pepper, and they also remind me of the aesthetic of Karl Blossfeldt. I am drawn to the variety of compositions—Martens does not employ a formulaic approach but rather respond to each vegetable as it comes before the frame, responding to and drawing inspiration from it. There is a painterly or hand-made quality to many of these images which is the result of his use of texture, giving the photographs a worn, antiqued look.

As a viewer I am most intrigued by the images where the vegetable, or subject, seems to float in space, drawing me in for further observation. An image like ‘Broad Beans’, with depth and layering of imagery is particularly effective, the formations and texture in the background setting off the subjects.

The play between scientific observation and aesthetic interpretation results in the singular voice behind this work, which is well-composed and skillfully rendered. Something like ‘Basil’ feels relatively more clinical, while ‘Beetroot’, with the way it is cropped, has a more artful feeling. The play between these two approaches—and the potential of a scientific approach to also have artfulness—is very interesting. In ‘Leek Sprouts’, the form of the sprout almost references a matchstick that has been deformed in some way. This dynamic interaction between reality and perception is most intriguing.
— Anonymous industry professional