PhotoLexicon, Volume 7, nr. 13 (March 1990) (en)

Peter Martens

Carla van der Stap


Since the 1960s, Peter Martens has been travelling around the world as a photographer. He focuses his camera mainly on the fringes of society in large metropolitan cities. Structural forms of injustice, such as hunger and poverty, are subjects regularly encountered in his work. Martens’ reportages primarily depict the appalling existence of the individual in his daily suffering.




Peter Mathieu Martens is born on 1 March in Rotterdam on the Noordereiland.


At the age of eleven, Martens’ parents place him in the boarding school Eikenburg, in Eindhoven.


After failing his HBS (Hogere Burgerschool, an upper-level secondary school)exam by just a fraction, Martens spends six months in Switzerland. Returning to the Netherlands, he works at various jobs, including a photography store. He begins a study at the Fotovakschool (‘Vocational School of Photography’) in The Hague.


Martens is hired as an assistant to the photographer Leen van Oudgaarden in Rotterdam, where he stays for a period of two years.


In this year, Martens works as a still photographer on two Dutch films produced by Joop Landré: Rififi in Amsterdam (‘Rififi in Amsterdam’) and De vergeten medeminnaar (‘The Forgotten Co-Lover’).


Martens leads a nomadic existence. He begins to photograph people on the street, first in Europe and later on other continents. He submits his photos, accompanied by a brief story, to various newspapers. He also takes portraits of his friends at the place they frequent most, Café De Fles, in Rotterdam.


Martens receives a travel grant from the Ministry of CRM (Cultuur, Recreatie en Maatschappelijk Werk, ‘Culture, Recreation, and Social Work’), with which he goes to Israel to photograph the contrasts between Arabs and Israelis.


Martens travels for the first time to the United States, visiting cities such as New Orleans, Las Vegas, and New York.


Martens makes a reportage in Calcutta, India. In this same year, he travels to Bangkok and Hong Kong.


Martens photographs in Colombia, where he takes heart-breaking images of the leper colony Agua de Dios. This reportage is published in the magazine Avenue.


Martens works as a photographer in Lagos (Nigeria) and in Northern Ireland.


Martens wins a double prize in the ‘Miscellaneous’ category of the World Press Photo for his series on neo-Nazis in the United States and on American victims of the war in Vietnam.

Martens works as a freelance photographer for both domestic and foreign magazines.


Martens travels twice to Beirut (Lebanon) on assignment for the weekly magazine Panorama. He photographs various subjects, including those who have become invalid as a result of the war there. In Beirut, he also makes a reportage on the cultivation and smuggling of hashish and on the trafficking of these drugs.


Together with the journalist/columnist Renate Dorrestein, with whom he previously worked on assignment for various magazines in the 1970s, Martens makes a reportage on the activist Bernadette Devlin in Northern Ireland.

Martens receives second prize in the category ‘Color Picture Stories’ at the World Press Photo Contest for his series on the foreign legion.


Martens photographs in the territory of Upper Volta (today Burkina Faso), in the capital city of Ouagadougou.


Martens is sent to Israel and South Lebanon on assignment for Panorama to make a reportage on the mercenaries of Major Haddad.

Martens also visits famine-plagued Northern Kenya, in order to photograph the disaster unfolding there.


Martens travels once again to Calcutta—this time together with Renate Dorrestein—made possible by a travel grant from the Ministry of CRM.


Martens is invited by Magnum and others to do photographic work for photobooks on cities: he shoots photos Los Angeles and London.

Martens receives the Joop Alblas Prize for his entire oeuvre.


Martens works in Ireland for the book entitled Ireland, A Week in the Life of a Nation, published in 1986.


The Stichting Zilveren Camera (‘Silver Camera Foundation’) names Martens as the ‘Photojournalist of the Year’.


Martens travels to New York to photograph the neighbourhood of Harlem in its current state, just prior to its planned redevelopment.


Peter Martens dies on 16 April.


Peter Martens senses a kinship and readily identifies with those who become the subject of his photos, primarily people who are disadvantaged. He extends this attitude of solidarity into his own way of living, to be described as very austere. With his photography, Martens hopes that an awareness of ‘this other world seeps through into our own world.’ His reportages are about injustice, the abuse of power, exploitation, and the growing militarism, as encountered in fascism. Light-heartedness, happiness, and the small joys of day-to-day life are seldom encountered in his reportages.

After secondary school, Martens led the life of an itinerant, taking on all kinds of work. One of these jobs entailed working as an assistant in a photography studio, where it was his task to crop, mount, develop, and rinse photos. In 1962, he attended the Fotovakschool (‘Vocational School of Photography’) in The Hague. After having completed this programme, Martens became an assistant to the photographer Leen van Oudgaarden through the intermediation of an acquaintance. The practical experience that Martens obtained while working with Van Oudgaarden was a worthy supplement to the technically oriented training he received at vocational school. It eventually became apparent that Martens was an excellent wedding photographer. Through this experience, he learned to establish contact with people both quickly and effectively: a skill that would prove very useful in his later photography.

Out of a curiosity for film, Martens worked as a still photographer on two Dutch films in the early 1960s. He describes this experience as indeed instructive. At the same time, however, he quickly realised this branch of photography was too static for him. This did not stop him from working on short documentary films in collaboration with the filmmaker Fred Lievense later on in his career.

From the very start of his days as a photographer, Martens showed an interest in people. In the early 1960s, while studying at the vocational school of photography, he spent a great deal of time hanging out at Café De Fles in Rotterdam, where the local in-crowd gathered. Martens shot his first portraits of people amidst this existentialist entourage—that of the young people with the ‘ashen faces’. These photos exude the same melancholic atmosphere Ed van der Elsken captured ten years earlier in his series of young people in Paris: youths dressed in dark, understated clothing. Martens was able to achieve a similar mood by incorporating dark shadows and major areas of black in his photos, and by printing his photos with a coarse grain. Other portraits taken several years later, depicting the elderly and children, are bright and sharp. These photos are reminiscent of the post-war tradition of humanistic photography.

During his various travels to large cities such as Rome, London and Barcelona, and in countries such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy, Martens photographed multitudes of people—and especially the homeless. He got right on top of his subjects with his camera, as it were, thus producing wrinkled heads and furrowed faces in images reminiscent of Martien Coppens’ portraits of farmers in the province of Brabant in the 1950s.

In the early 1960s, Martens’ portraits were exhibited at youth centres and cafés. In 1968, Gallery ‘t Venster (‘Gallery The Window’, which had already hosted a show of Martens’ work back in 1963) exhibited hundreds of his photos from his early travels in large format.

As can be observed in his later portraits of artists and writers—such as Bert Schierbeek, Simon Vinkenoog, and Bob den Uyl—Martens highlights a person’s characteristic qualities by means of the pose, the camera angle, and the surroundings. In doing so, he emphasises people’s personalities in a light-hearted way. Vinkenoog, for instance, is portrayed while in utmost concentration during a speech, with a drop of sweat perceptible on his nose. In his portrait of the Dutch politician Den Uyl, Martens works with visual rhythm, by combining his long, narrow face with a pointed church tower. Jules Deelder is depicted in the subway as an ‘underground’ figure, wearing his small, black round eyeglasses.

Much of Martens’ work is in fact portrait photography, sometimes as a close-up, but typically within a given context. People—individuals—remain his favourite topic: ‘If I don’t see any faces or eyes in a photo, it doesn’t interest me.’

Martens refers to his own work as a kind of specialised photojournalism, but he also describes himself as a street photographer.

When a photographer shows a personal involvement in his work, then the question inevitably arises as to what his motivation might be. To gain even a minimum of insight into Martens’ motivation, one has to examine his youth. In his parents’ eyes, Peter was an unwieldy child. It was for this reason that they placed him in a boarding school, the ‘Broeders van Liefde’ (‘Brothers of Love’) in Eindhoven. It was the tough approach of the priests at this school that taught Martens to have a ‘healthy distrust’ of people and society.

It was in social documentary photography that Martens ultimately found an outlet for his growing discontent with the unfair treatment to which many people are fated. Martens’ photography leaves little room for relativizing the situation. When it comes to blatant, severe photography, Roland Barthes believed (in his Le Message Photographique, ‘The Photographic Message’, 1961) that shocking, sophisticated photos scarcely affect us, because such images rob us of our judgement. Martens, however, aims for an honest manner of photographing. For him, this entails photography plain and straight in its depiction.

Contrary to the new generation of social documentary photographers in the Netherlands (e.g. Hannes Wallrafen, Taco Anema, and Hans Aarsman) who, since the middle of the 1980s, have drawn attention to social injustice by means of staged photography, Martens in no way strives to influence reality or aesthetic in his photography. Nevertheless, the aesthetic is always present in his work, particularly in his more recent colour reportages. These colour reportages are softer in character, both in terms of content and the manner of depiction. This is in part brought about by the nuance that comes with colour. Apart from the severity of Martens’ work, his involvement with humanity and his commentary on social injustice are entirely in line with the tradition of Dutch reportage photography.

Martens accepts only those commissions he sees as having value: one reason why he has rarely given in to doing advertising or corporate photography. He typically works on his own initiative, only then submitting his photo reportages to various newspapers and magazines.

From 1974 to 1982, Martens did reportages for the weekly magazines Panorama, Nieuwe Revu (‘New Review’), and De Tijd (‘Time’), frequently in collaboration with Renate Dorrestein. Together they travelled to countries such as the United States, India (Calcutta), and Africa, to report on the appalling situations found in these countries.

To approach reality to the highest possible degree, Marten tries to capture the entire image, at an early stage, in his viewfinder. In doing so, the observer also learns that he now finds himself at the heart of a situation. Every element in Marten’s photos contributes to the photographed subject: small signs and contrasts in the vicinity—traits also perceivable in his early portrait photography—play an important role in the significance assigned the main topic.

Martens’ subtle feeling for formal aspects heightens the documentary content of his photos. In order to intensify the expressiveness of his work, additional factors are allowed to influence the effect, including large-format prints (for exhibitions he makes prints of up to 1×1 m) and a high contrast in black and white.

Prior to making these large exhibition prints, Martens first produces an unflawed print, from which he then shoots a reproduction negative of 9×12 cm. From this negative, he makes the final enlargement. This procedure saves him from making costly, large-format misprints.

Martens makes his prints on baryta paper, which is inherently stark in contrast. He also uses glossy paper, which produces a silky matte print without being treated in a gloss press. Martens typically works with a standard lens (35mm), as this minimally influences reality and helps to avoid distortions. While working as a freelance photographer for the weekly Panorama during the first half of the 1970s, Martens made regular use of a wide-angle lens, influenced by the then prevailing trend among photojournalists to create disorienting wide-angle shots.

Martens generally makes no technical changes once the photo is taken. He leaves the task of finishing colour slides and colour enlargements entirely over to a photo laboratory.

Whenever Martens plans to travel, he first prepares himself both mentally and material-wise and tries to form a solid idea of what he can expect. He prefers to travel with minimum of camera equipment and wears a special jacket for storing away his photo material.

As a consequence of his work for the Red Cross, Martens keeps a Red Cross document on hand, which frequently allows him to enter places where he would otherwise be refused with a passport alone. The contact that Martens establishes with the people he photographs is generally non-verbal, visual, and intuitive. He always tries to establish some kind of understanding with his subjects: his photos are therefore rarely ‘candid’.

In 1970, Martens travelled for the first time to New York City—a place that intrigued him to such a degree, he returned there many times. In 1987, he stayed for more than two months to complete a reportage about homeless people, on which he had already worked for several years. The tough reportages that Martens produced in New York City over the years—specifically, at the homicide department of the New York police, the soup kitchens, the Bowery (a neighbourhood filled with alcoholics) and the homeless shelters—is comparable to the work of the photographer Weegee. In their directness and severity, but also in their content, one encounters a striking similarity. Weegee also photographed in the Bowery, ventured out with the police on their (nightly) shifts, and shot photos at the homeless shelters of the city.

In large cities, Martens is looking for the beggars and the outcasts, including children sometimes maimed by their own parents just to get sympathy. He consistently highlights the isolation and loneliness of people living in the urban jungles. Martens is not easily afraid to transgress boundaries, with the ultimate consequence of photographing death. The theme of death, and the moments just prior to death, is a topic that keeps Martens preoccupied. It therefore appears regularly in his work. For the book A Day in the Life of London (published by Magnum, 1984), Martens chose, for instance, the ‘St. Joseph Hospice for the Dying’ as his subject matter, a place where people with no foreseeable chance of medical improvement are left to die.

Martens’ photos show not only the side of society that literally lives in poverty, but also depicts the inner destitution of Western, ‘civilized’ humanity in his reportages on striptease, sex clubs, and nightclubs, body-building competitions, beauty pageants, as well as his series on overweight people in the United States and the legion of foreign immigrants. In a manner unparalleled by others, his reportages on the sex clubs and nightclubs portray the banality and bleakness of this artificial world. In content and intention, they bring to mind the photography of Diane Arbus. A major similarity between the work of Martens and Arbus is a strong emphasis on people living on the edge, with photos that radiate tragedy and defeatism. In Martens’ view, the readers of newsmagazines in the Netherlands are already aware of events going on in the world: his photos only confirm their views. For this reason, he prefers to have his work published in family magazines like Panorama and the Nieuwe Revu.

In 1974, Martens began working as a freelance photographer for Panorama, with the magazine publishing one of his photos on a weekly basis in the format of a two-page spread starting in 1979. When a new photo editor, with a completely different taste, took over the reins in 1985, Martens’ weekly photo contribution was brought to a halt.

Martens’ photos in the Nieuwe Revu were published sometimes anonymously, and at other times under the pseudonym of Marten Peters, based on the magazine’s rivalry with Panorama. Photographs depicting structural forms of injustice, such as those taken by Martens, are not classified as current news. Accordingly, they never make it to the front pages of the newspapers. Based on the nature of his work, only a few weekly and monthly magazines in the Netherlands can actually use his Martens’ photos.

Due to their confrontational nature, there are times when Martens’ photos draw disapproval. In the press, he is portrayed as a ruthless photographer, a ‘grave-digger’, a ‘masochist’. Indeed, Martens is relentless in depicting the rawness of everyday reality and touches upon what is interpreted by some as the boundaries of immorality. Notwithstanding, he approaches his work with the utmost integrity and a tremendous respect for the people he photographs. Examples demonstrating the controversial nature of his work are the taking down of several of Martens’ photos depicting neo-Nazis during the exhibition Foto en Vormen (‘Photo and Forms’) held at Wijchen Castle (1985), as well as Panorama‘s refusal to publish a series of homicide photos shot in New York, as they were judged to be too distasteful. Appreciation on an international level, by contrast, is demonstrated in Cornell Capa’s invitation asking Martens to present a lecture about his work at the International Centre for Photography in New York in 1987.

Peter Martens’ distinctive oeuvre forms a document of societal contradistinctions occurring worldwide. By placing an emphasis on the destitute suffering of the individual and the isolation of a large proportion of humanity, Martens exposes structural problems that would otherwise remain unperceived were it not for his personal passion.


Primary bibliography

Kontrasten in Israël, in Focus 55 (november 1970) 11, p. 28-31 (met foto’s).

Hollands dagboek, in NRC Handelsblad 11 mei 1974 (met foto’s).

1/250 op 8, Eindhoven (Stedelijk van Abbe Museum) 1978.

Renate Dorrestein (tekst), Nothing special, Amsterdam (Kosmos) 1981.

Frans Vogel (tekst), ‘t Staartje van De Fles, Rotterdam (Robbemond) 1988 (Bundeling van artikelen die eerder in Het Vrije Volk zijn verschenen).

Cruel compassion, Amsterdam (Fragment) 1989.


images in:

Modern Photography Annual 1971.

Foto Magazin (maart 1971) 3, p. 64.

Bild der Zeit (januari 1973) 1, p. 52.

Fleur Adcock e.a., Dichters in Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Rotterdamse Kunststichting) 1975 (Sonde Special no. 2).

Avenue (januari 1975) 1, p. 5, 62, 64-65, 67.

Fotografia Italiana juli 1976, p. 30-31.

Catalogus tent. World Press Photo, Amsterdam (Teleboek bv) 1977, p. 36-37.

Catalogus tent. Atelier 14, Amsterdam (Stedelijk Museum) 1977.

Robert de Hartogh (samenstelling), Kijkboek over gastarbeid, Utrecht (Nederlands Centrum Buitenlanders) 1977, afb. 2, 10, 13-16, 21-23, 34, 64-65, 67, 69.

Catalogus tent. World Press Photo, Amsterdam (Teleboek bv) 1979, p. 26-27.

Auteur onbekend, De nieuwe schuttingtaal. Een fotoreportage van Peter Martens, in Vrij Nederland-Bijvoegsel (11 oktober 1980) 41, omslag, p. 2-5, 8-11, 14-15.

Vrij Nederland 7 februari 1981.

Catalogus tent. World Press Photo, Amsterdam/Brussel (Elsevier) 1983, p. 98.

Photo (Italië) (maart 1983) 93, p. 81-87.

Photo Magazin (maart 1983) 38, p. 50-61, 90.

Klaus Fabricius en Red Saunders (eds), 24 Hours in the life of Los Angeles, New York (Alfred van der Marck Eds.) 1984.

Die stad komt nooit af. Impressie naar aanleiding van tien jaar stadsvernieuwing in Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Uitgeverij 010) 1984.

Red Saunders en Syd Shelton (project organizers), A day in the life of London, London (Jonathan Cape Ltd.) 1984.

Piazze d’Europe, Touring Club Italiano, Milaan (Touring Club Italiano/Centre Georges Pompidou) 1984.

The Observer 5 oktober 1986, p. 46, 49.

Red Saunders en Syd Shelton (eds.), Ireland. A week in the life of a nation, London (Century Publishing) 1986.

Maat (samenstelling), 2×24 Uur in de provincie Utrecht, Wijk en Aalburg (Boek/design) 1987.

De Volkskrant 21 februari 1987.

Plaatwerk 4 (maart 1988) 22/23, (themanummer Geliefde personen), p. 14-15.


in Panorama:

21 januari 1972, p. 38-41.

(10 januari 1975) 2, p. 62-65.

(26 september 1975) 39, p. 38-39.

(januari 1978) 1 (speciale uitgave Een jaar in beeld 1977), p. 55, 76-77.

16 maart 1979-1981 (rubriek Mensen van Martens).

(6 april 1979) 14, p. 46-47.

(14 september 1979) 37, p. 36-41.

(30 november 1979) 48, p. 100-105.

(4 januari 1980) 1, p. 32-35.

(8 februari 1980) 6, p. 48-51.

(1981) 17, p. 106-109.

Secondary bibliography

Auteur onbekend, Peter Martens ziet ze zo … maar zijn ze ook zo?, in Rotterdams Nieuwsblad 31 maart 1962.

L.W.S., Portretten van Martens, in Rotterdams Parool 14 augustus 1963.

Auteur onbekend, Portretten van Martens in Galerie Punt Vier, in Rotterdams Nieuwsblad 21 november 1964.

Auteur onbekend, „Mensen – dat is toch de wereld”. Peter-Mathieu Martens, fotograaf bij toeval, in Algemeen Dagblad 26 november 1964.

Auteur onbekend, Jong talent. Werk van Peter M. Martens, in Foto 20 (mei 1965) 5, p. 220-229 (met foto’s).

Auteur onbekend, Peter Martens en zijn mensen, in Rotterdams Nieuwsblad 8 juli 1967.

Huub Goudriaan, Peter Martens’ foto’s zijn rauwe denkertjes, in De Rotterdammer 26 juli 1968, p. 7.

Rolf Boost, ‘De foto’s tonen de waarheid’, in Algemeen Dagblad 22 augustus 1968.

Harry Willemsen, Portret van triest mensdom, in De Tijd augustus 1968, p. 7.

fh (= Fred Hazelhoff), Peter-Mathieu Martens ziet mensen, in Foto 23 (november 1968) 11, p. 539-545 (met foto’s),

fh (= Fred HazelhofF), Fototentoonstelling van Chris Stapels, Hans Katan en Peter Martens in Rotterdam, in Foto 24 (september 1969) 9, p. 444-445.

J.M., Peter-Mathieu Martens: nulpunten en absurde hoofden, in Fototribune 31 (oktober 1969) 10, p. 1, 8-12 (met foto’s).

fh (= Fred Hazelhoff), Peter Martens. Fotografie is een wapen, in Foto 24 (december 1969) 12, p. 623-638 (met foto’s).

Cees v.d. Geer, Peter Martens gaat exposeren in V.S., in Rotterdam/Rijnmond 17 juni 1970, p. 4.

Auteur onbekend, God Bless America, in Havenloods 18 juni 1970.

Catalogus tent. Kontrasten. 22 Nederlandse kunstenaars van nu, Den Haag (Gemeentemuseum) 1970, p. 40-41.

Willem K. Coumans, Kontrasten. 22 Nederlandse kunstenaars van nu in Den Haag, in Foto 25 (november 1970) 11, p. 590-593.

Auteur onbekend, Objectief, in Panorama 7 mei 1971 (met foto’s).

R.E. Penning, De visie van een fotograaf, in Rotterdams Nieuwsblad 28 juli 1971.

J.M., Peter Martens, in Fototribune 33 (oktober 1971) 10, p.5, 18-23 (met foto’s).

Auteur onbekend, „Fotograaf van ellende”. Peter Martens: Mijn hart draait om in mijn lijf, in Algemeen Dagblad 19 februari 1973, p.2.

Peter Martens, in Foto 28 (oktober 1973) 10, p. 30-35 (met foto’s).

Auteur onbekend, Exposities van bekende en onbekende fotografen, in De Tijd 6 juni 1974.

Auteur onbekend, Monks in temple in Bangkok, in Invitation to Photography zomer 1974, p. 76-77.

Jan Juffermans, Zijn fotografen kunstenaars? Overbodige expositie in Rotterdam, in Algemeen Dagblad 16 juli 1974.

Auteur onbekend, Fotografen en hun werk. Peter Martens, in Foto 31 (april 1976) 4, omslag, p. 38-42 (met foto’s).

Willem K. Coumans, Atelier 14 in het Stedelijk. Tentoonstelling met Bien, Biezen en Martens, in Foto 32 (december 1977) 12, p. 45.

Els Barents (red.), Fotografie in Nederland 1940-1975, Den Haag (Staatsuitgeverij) 1978, p. 80 (met foto’s), biografie.

Auteur onbekend, Harlem, een moord per dag, in Nieuwe Revu (6 oktober 1978) 40, p. 18-21.

Auteur onbekend, Peter Martens, in Foto 33 (november 1978) 11, p. 32.

Auteur onbekend, de harde reportages van Peter Martens, in Foto 33 (december 1978) 12, p. 38-45 (met foto’s).

Bas van Kerkhof, Martens, de verontwaardigde, in Panorama (16 maart 1979) 11,p. 65.

Auteur onbekend, World Press Photo’79. Fotografen Panorama bekroond, in Panorama (6 april 1979) 14, p. 46-47.

Auteur onbekend, Peter Martens, in Magazijn (oktober 1979) 82, omslag.

Rommert Boonstra, Fotografie en erotiek, in Zero 1 (oktober 1979) 4, p. 98-99.

Piet Koster, Ik fotografeer zaken die niet kloppen, in Het Vrije Volk 16 oktober 1979, p. 19.

Rommert Boonstra, De flits van het heilige moeten, in Elseviers Magazine 3 november !979, p. 131, 133.

Terry James Kester, Shooting to shock, in Holland Herald 15 (1980), p. 30-33.

Peter Hooft, De ondergang van Afrika, in Panorama (1980) 40, p. 48-53.

Hans Kops, Getto in Nederland, in Panorama (december 1980) 52, p. 52-61.

Catalogus tent. Fotograferen in Rotterdam, Rotterdam (Rotterdamse Kunststichting) 1981, p. 26-27, 72-73 (met foto’s).

Bas Roodnat, Kunnen fotografen dan nooit eens iets nieuws verzinnen?, in NRC Handelsblad 10 april 1981.

Fred Jansz, De dood en ik hebben blijkbaar iets met elkaar, in Foto 36 (mei 1981) 5, p. 5, 34-39 (met foto’s).

Jan Heemskerk, Verachtelijke acties op Koninginnedag, in Panorama (1981) 20.

Bas Vroege, Peter Martens, in Magazijn (september 1981) 103, p. 35.

Bas Vroege, Peter Martens, in Perspektief (september/oktober/november 1981) 9, p.8-15 (met foto’s).

Steef Davidson en Frans van Burkom, Geen commentaar. Fotografen als ooggetuigen van agressie en geweld (catalogus), Amsterdam (Nederlandse Kunststichting) 1982.

Renate Dorrestein, De wereld wil niet dat Hongkong een gezicht heeft, in Panorama (december 1982) 52, p. 52-61.

Auteur onbekend, Peter Martens. L’atraque quotidienne de 1’horreur, in Photo (Parijs) (december 1982) 183, p. 93-99.

Auteur onbekend, Tilburg, Peter Martens, in Foto 37 (april 1982) 4, p. 18.

Renate Dorrestein, De verschrikkelijke wereld van Peter Martens, in De Tijd 13 augustus 1982, p. 46-53.

Matt Dings, De mariniers, in De Tijd 18 maart 1983, p. 25-29.

Luuk Kramer, Geen commentaar, in Perspektief (lente 1983) 14, p.6-7.

Auteur onbekend, Peter Martens wint Joop Alblasprijs 1984, in Fotoprof 2 (voorjaar 1984) 1, p. 16.

Auteur onbekend, Slachtoffers, in Bondig (uitgave van de Voedingsbond FNV) 9 (1969), p. 18-23.

Auteur onbekend, Fotograaf Martens onderscheiden voor volledige eigen stijl, in De Volkskrant 10 maart 1984.

Herman Hoeneveld, Peter Martens gek op dat ene goede beeld, in P/F Professionele Fotografie (februari/maart 1984) 1, p. 45-51 (met foto’s).

Els Barents, Van afbeelden naar verbeelden, in Foto in vorm. Grafisch Nederland 1984, Amsterdam (Koninklijk Verbond van Grafische Ondernemingen) 1984, p. 38.

Auteur onbekend, Joop-Alblas-Prijs voor Peter Martens, in Bondsbulletin (BNAFV) 3 (april 1984) 4, p. 7.

Matt Dings, De buurt van Peter Martens, in De Tijd 13 april 1984.

Ellen Kok, Het wrede mededogen van Peter Martens, in Foto 39 (november 1984) 11, omslag, p. 24-29 (met foto’s).

Ton van Dillen (inl.), Foto en vormen, Werkgroep Foto’85 Wijchen, Wijchen (Foto’85) 1985.

Henk Blanken en Wim de Jong, De mens achter de fotojournalist. Peter Martens, in Focus 70 (februari 1985) 2, p. 33-37 (met foto’s).

Johanneke van Slooten, De dilemma’s van de sociale fotografie, in Haagse Post 18 mei 1985, p. 50.

Jos Slats, De zendingsdrang van Peter Martens, in Vrij Nederland 22 juni 1985, p. 19.

Chris Kijne, De kinderen van Peter Martens, in Plaatwerk 3 (september 1986) 16, p. 4-10 (met foto’s).

Auteur onbekend, Nieuw lid: Peter Martens, in GKf-Bulletin (november 1986) 4 (met foto’s).

Frans Vogel, ‘t Staartje van de Fles, in Het Vrije Volk (artikelen verschenen in de periode 1987/1988).

Herman Hoeneveld, Peter Martens. In kleur: Het leven volgens Peter M., in Reftexions 6 (januari/februari 1987) 30, p. 5-7 (met foto’s).

Ellen Kok, Peter Martens. „Ik fotografeer voor mijn eigen gemoedsrust”, in Focus 74 (februari 1987) 2, p.47-55 (met foto’s).

Auteur onbekend, Beurzen/tentoonstellingen, in De Volkskrant 7 februari 1987.

Rolf Bos, Mijn foto’s zijn druppeltjes, in De Volkskrant 14 februari 1987.

Ernst Gottlieb, Dialoog (interview), in P/F Professionele Fotografie (1987) 3, p. 34-37.

Fons Burger, (artikel zonder titel), in Rotown Magazine (augustus 1987) 4.

Auteur onbekend, Beurzen/tentoonstellingen, in De Volkskrant 8 augustus 1987.

Wim de Jong, De oorlog van alledag, in Het Vrije Volk 16 januari 1988, p. 11.

Wim de Jong, Ongenaakbare foto’s, in Het Vrije Volk 21 januari 1988, p. 13.

Rien Vroegindeweij, Stoffige flessen, in Haagse Post (23 januari 1988) 3, p. 50.

Renate Dorrestein, Respect, in De Tijd (29 januari 1988) 4.

Rolf Bos, Liefje, lach nog eens tegen het vogeltje, in De Volkskrant 12 maart 1988.

Frans Vogel, Bij de Fles, babies van Peter Martens, in Rotterdams Mooi voorjaar 1988, p. 24-26.

Wim Broekman, Peter Martens. Keurige serie, toch?, in Foto 43 (april 1988) 4, p. 67-71 (met foto’s).

Ellen Kok, Fotograaf Martens kiest voor inhoud, in Utrechts Nieuwsblad 28 juni 1988.

Wim Pijbes (inl.), Tas x Martens. 2 Kijken op fotografie, in Nieuwe Weelde (1988) 8, p. 4-8.

J.M. Linthorst e.a., Fotografie in Rotterdamse Galeries, Rotterdam (Stichting Rotterdamse Galeries) 1988.

Cas Wichers, Peter Martens en de kanslozen. Nieuw boek van ‘Fotojournalist 1988’, in De Telegraaf 19 juli 1989.

MH, Wanhoop in het laatste stadium, in Vrij Nederland-Boekenbijlage (8 juli 1989) 27, p.11.

Fiona Valentijn, Peter Martens, in P/F Professionele Fotografie (november 1989) 5, p. 59-66.


Magnum, van 1982-1984.

GKf, vanaf ca. november 1986.


1977 Eerste en tweede prijs in de categorie ‘Miscellaneous’, World Press Photo.

1979 Tweede prijs in de categorie ‘Color Picture Stories’, World Press Photo.

1982 Creativity Award van het Amerikaanse blad voor vormgevers.

1984 (maart) Joop Alblas Prijs 1983.

1986 Derde prijs in de categorie buitenland, De Zilveren Camera, (gedeeld met Dirk Buwalda).

1988 Fotojournalist van het jaar.


1963 (e) Rotterdam, ‘t Venster, Peter-Mathieu Martens. foto’s.

1964 (e) Rotterdam, Jongerencentrum AMVJ.

1964 (e) Den Haag, Galerie Arta, Portretten.

1964 (e) Schiedam, Galerie Punt Vier.

1967 (e) Rotterdam, Groothandelsgebouw Kriterion.

1968 (e) Schiedam, Galerie Punt Vier.

1968 (e) Rotterdam, ‘t Venster, Peter Martens foto’s.

1969 (g) Rotterdam, De Doelen, (Peter Martens, Hans Kazan en Chris Stapels).

1970 (g) Den Haag, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Kontrasten. 22 Nederlandse kunstenaars van nu.

1971 (g) Rotterdam, De Doelen.

1972 (g) Amsterdam, Expopaviljoen van de Floriade, World Press Photo.

1974 (g) Amsterdam, Fotogalerie Fiolet, (Cecil Beaton en Peter Martens).

1974 (g) Rotterdam, De Doelen, (Gerard van Soest, Peter Martens en Vincent Mentzel).

1977 (g) Rotterdam, Hulp- en Informatiecentrum (Coolsingel), (selectie uit het Kijkboek over gastarbeid).

1977 (g) Rotterdam, De Kijkkist, Foto Morgana (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1977 (g) Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, World Press Photo (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1977 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Atelier 14. (Ania Bien, Hans Biezen en Peter Martens).

1978 (e) Rotterdam, Erasmusuniversiteit.

1978 (e) Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbe Museum, 1/250 op 8.

1978 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Fotografie in Nederland 1940-1975.

1979 (e) Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbe Museum.

1979 (g) Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, World Press Photo (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1979 (g) Rotterdam, De Doelen, (foto’s van Peter Martens en werk van de schilder Jan van den Broek).

1980 (e) Brussel, Abdij van Dieleghem, Nothing Special.

1981 (g) Rotterdam, De Doelen, De fotograaf als ooggetuige (maakt deel uit van drie tentoonstellingen met als gezamenlijke titel Fotograferen in Rotterdam).

1981 (e) Rotterdam, Galerie Perspektief.

1981 (g) Amsterdam, Nederlandse Kunststichting, Kijken-vinden. De foto als registratie (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1981 (e) Utrecht, Galerie Jan Schut, Foto’s van Peter Martens.

1982 (e) Tilburg, Kultureel Sentrum (Koningsplein 1).

1982 (e) Helmond, Kunstzaal ‘t Meyhuis, Nothing special.

1982 (e) Rotterdam, Galerie Perspektief, Nothing Special.

1982 (g) Amsterdam, Anne Frankhuis, Tekens aan de wand.

1983 (g) Amsterdam, De Nederlandse Kunststichting, ‘Geen Commentaar’-fotografen als ooggetuigen van agressie en geweld (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1983 (g) Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk, World Press Photo (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1983 (g) Hull, Ferens art gallery, (uitwisseling tentoonstelling Rotterdam/Hull).

1983 (g) New York, KLM, In my view (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1984 (e) Amsterdam, Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen, (expositie in kader van de uitreiking van de Joop Alblas Prijs 1983).

1984 (g) Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk, World Press Photo (rondreizende tentoonstelling).

1984 (g) Rotterdam, Museum Boymansvan Beuningen, Momentopname van een creatieve stad.

1984 (g) Rotterdam, ‘Westersingel 8’, Die stad komt nooit af.

1984 (g) (rondreizende tentoonstelling van Magnum over Zuid Amerika).

1985 (g) Wijchen, Kasteel, Foto en vormen.

1985 (g) Rotterdam, Perspektief, (Ed van der Elsken en Peter Martens).

1985 (g) Rotterdam, Museum Boymans van Beuningen.

1985 (e) Helmond, ‘t Meyhuis, Nothing special.

1985 (e) Tilburg, Kultureel Sentrum, (overzichtstentoonstelling) .

1985 (g) Rotterdam, Perspektief, Rotterdamse fotografen.

1985 (g) Rotterdam, Buitengalerie, De bevalling.

1985 (g) Amsterdam, Gebouw van de Geïllustreerde pers, (expositie naar aanleiding van een Symposium over fotojournalistiek, georganiseerd door de Nieuwe Revu, 7 februari 1985).

1985 (e) Eindhoven, Galerie Pennings, (overzichtstentoonstelling kleurenfotografie).

1986 (g) Rotterdam, ‘Westersingel 8’, Momentopname.

1986 (g) Rotterdam, World Trade Centre, (Kunst en bedrijf).

1986 (g) Amstelveen, Cultureel Centrum, Dutch Photography (vervolgens rondreizend).

1986 (g) (rondreizende tentoonstelling in het kader van de Zilveren Camera).

1987 (e) Hoensbroek, Fotogalerie 68 (Cultu reel Centrum Kasteel Hoensbroek), Peter Martens.

1987 (e) Amsterdam, Focus on Photography, (Een indringende fotoreportage over het minder gelukkige deel van onze samenleving).

1987 (e) Amsterdam, Canon Photo Gallery.

1987 (g) Rotterdam, ‘Westersingel 8’, Ego imago.

1987 (g) Rotterdam, Stadsbibliotheek, Fotografie in opdracht.

1987 (e) Rotterdam, Canon-Rotown Photogallery.

1987 (g) Rotterdam, Canon-Rotown Photogallery, Sprekend Deelder.

1987 (g) Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk, (daklozententoonstelling).

1987 (g) Rotterdam, Archiefwinkel, Rotterdam nu gefotografeerd voor later.

1988 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Geliefde personen (GKf).

1988 (g) Wuppertal, Begegnungen mit Rotterdam.

1988 (g) Den Haag, Museon, (Rode Kruistentoonstelling).

1988 (e) Utrecht, Jaarbeurs, Daklozen U.S.A. (rondreizende tentoonstelling naar aanleiding van zijn benoeming tot Fotojournalist van het jaar).

1988 (e) Utrecht, Galerie Pantafos, (overzichtstentoonstelling).

1988 (g) Amsterdam, Centrum voor Latijns-Amerikaanse Cultuur, Nederlandse fotografen in Zuid-Amerika.

1988 (g) Rotterdam, Galerie Tussenwater, Daklozen in USA.

1988 (e) Rotterdam, Erasmusuniversiteit, Peter Martens.

1988 (g) Amsterdam, Canon Photo Gallery, Humanitaskalender.

1988 (e) Amsterdam, Muziektheater, Dakloze kinderen.

1988 (g) Rotterdam, Perspektief, Foto Boogaloo.

1988 (g) Amsterdam, Galerie Focus, (verkooptentoonstelling).

1989 (g) Amsterdam, Tropenmuseum, Dodendans.

1989 (g) Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, De fotoruil.

1989 (g) Athene, (naar aanleiding van de International month of photography, mei 1989).

1989 (e) Breda, Hogeschool voor toerisme, Toerisme naar de Derde Wereld.

1989 (g) Amsterdam, Moderne Boekhandel (Leidsestraat 72), Corinne Noordenbos, Mario Hooglander, Peter Martens.

1989 (g) Amsterdam, Nieuwe Kerk, Foto ’89.

Radio programs

1982 (2 juni) Overrompelende tentoonstelling in het Meijhuis (Radio Omroep Brabant).

1987 (5 december) Gesprek met Peter Martens (Radio Rijnmond).

1987 (28 december) Het voordeel van de twijfel (Humanistisch Verbond).

1988 (16 januari) TROS Nieuwsshow (TROS).

1988 (8 maart) Passages, passanten (VPRO).

1989 (31 januari) Soortgenoten (Wim Kayzer interviewt Peter Martens) (VPRO).

Television programs

1987 (27 december) Kenmerk (Kees van Twist in gesprek met Vincent Mentzel, Peter Martens en Koen Wessing) (IKON).

1988 (31 oktober) Klokhuis (onderwerp: Over waarnemen) (NOS).


Rotterdam, Peter Martens, documentatie en mondelinge informatie.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet, bibliotheek en documentatiebestand.


Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum.

Amsterdam, Stichting „Dutch Photography”.

Leiden, Prentenkabinet van de Rijksuniversiteit.

Rotterdam, Artotheek (Centrum Beeldende Kunst).


Amsterdam, Hollandse Hoogte.