About Me

Marc PennartzI have always taken pictures. At home, in the city, in the woods, and as a journalist when I took photos for my articles. However, it only gained momentum after a series of setbacks in my personal life. Parents died, a relationship ended, a job was lost, my money evaporated, all within seven months. I could have jumped in front of a train or lost myself in alcohol and depression, but went out on the street instead and started shooting in a desire for some peace and quiet. I have not yet returned from that trip.

When I started, I categorized most of my work as street photography, but, to be honest, I don’t really care about genre or categories. I still take my photographs in public space, in an environment designed by people. My work regularly shows people, but in many cases they are not the subject. I take the viewpoint of an introverted outsider wondering about the world and often tend towards the abstract.

I do not pretend to tell stories. I just hope to convey some sort of emotion. What kind of emotion I leave up to the viewer. Photography is at its best when it’s ambiguous.

The Freedom of Chaos

My walks through Antwerp and Brussels are all about observation, without a preconceived plan or goal. I am naturally attracted by dirty glass and reflections, facades and objects marked by the ravages of time, by shapes, layers and textures that we normally ignore, and how they work together. I cherish the freedom of chaos, and I love to surrender to chance.

I take my photos with a simple, handy, mirrorless digital camera. Because modern cameras are designed to reproduce colors as realistically as possible, and since a correct representation of reality does not interest me much, I pay attention to adjusting the colors afterwards. Often I strive for a warmer, more “analog” tone. Other than that, I keep post-processing limited. The street photographer in me resists erasing or adding image elements.

Apart from abstract street photography I also shoot in nature, while experimenting with a broad range of techniques to create a dark and slightly otherwordly atmosphere.

Do it

Through the years I built a collection of art and photography books, studied other photographers and have always been surrounded by creative people. I do not have a formal training in photography or any other visual or artistic profession. The opportunity of taking pictures dropped by and I grabbed it, just as I spent several years making music, writing or drawing cartoons as a child. I start every chapter in my creative life guided by the old punk ethos, aptly worded by The Pink Fairies: Don’t think about it, all you’ve got to do is: do it.

What I like most is the process itself, the road to the end result and the hypnotic state that I experience when I’m out and about.

 


Belgian street photographer Marc Pennartz was born in the Netherlands, lived in Sweden and is now based in the Antwerp region in Belgium. He’s a journalist, researcher and copywriter by profession. In recent years, he has been dedicating much of his time to photography. The biggest part of his work is shot in Antwerp, Brussels and other Belgian cities. He regularly gives lectures and workshops on street photography.

Marc runs a Dutch-language blog on street photography: straatfotograaf.be

Some facts

2022

  • Interview Aantwaarpe.be
  • Interview on Radio Expres, Antwerpen
  • Photo book release “Green”
  • Featured artist, Belgium Street Photography Club
  • “Inspirational artist” of the Month, Antwerp Photo Collective
  • Lectures and/or workshops in Antwerp, Aalst, Turnhout, Zoersel

2021

2020

  • Juror street photography contest (B)
  • Lectures and/or workshops in Antwerp, Hove
  • Author of the booklet Starten met Straatfotografie

2019

  • Interview, Street Photography Magazine, August edition
  • Guest teacher street photography, Dag van de Fotografie, Heusden-Zolder (B)
  • Interview and Photographer of the Month, June, Gazet van Antwerpen (Belgian newspaper)
  • Two nominations for the World Street Photography Book
  • Juror street photography contest (NL)
  • Lectures and/or workshops in Antwerp, Ghent, Schelle, Wilrijk

2018

  • Lectures and/or workshops in Antwerp, Ronse, Vlissingen

 

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