Martijn Sandberg
Martijn Sandberg - Amsterdam

The work of Amsterdam based visual artist Martijn Sandberg, constantly explores border areas, such as the tension between text and image, legibility and illegibility, the private and the public domain. “I make Image Messages, image is message is image.” The image hides the message. In the cut paintings „Sorry No Image Yet‟ and „Too Busy To Paint‟ there is a subtle play between the language of the image and the significance of the image, and this gives rise to questions. Here, the lack of image seems to be elevated to an image by the artist. The direct relationship between the image, the material bearing the image and the environment is also expressed in his site-specific works in public space and architecture. As in „If These Walls Could Speak‟ that can be viewed in the lifts at the OBA Public Library Amsterdam, and the artwork „I Will Survive' located at the border of a burial ground in Hardenberg, The Netherlands. In 2010 „My Last Penny‟ by Martijn Sandberg is released as jaarpenning/ art medal 2010, issued by the Vereniging voor Penningkunst/ Dutch Art Medal Society in a multiple edition of 450 pieces.

Dis-pe-reert niet (Place)

Amsterdam by Martijn Sandberg

At the Damrak on the daily journey between home and studio, my eye is continually drawn to the emblem that has functioned as a façade ornament on the corner of the Beurs van Berlage for more than a hundred years. In combination with the past function of the building - trade centre - and in relation to the present financial crisis, the timeless maxim gains extra significance: ‘Dis-pe-reert niet’ (‘Do not des-pair’).

Address
Dis-pe-reert niet | Damrak-Oudebrugsteeg, Beurs van Berlage | Amsterdam

Art in the underground stations (Place)

Amsterdam by Martijn Sandberg

Under the city, the extraordinary Gesamtkunstwerk by Louis van Gasteren, Jan Sierhuis and others is located in Nieuwmarkt underground. This is one of the public artworks of the Seventies and early Eighties endangered due to station renovation on the Underground Eastline. At present there is a notice hanging at different spots on the wall: ‘‘This artwork has been temporally removed due to renovations”.

Address
Art in the underground stations | Metro station Nieuwmarkt | Amsterdam

Homo sapiens non urinat in ventum (Place)

Amsterdam by Martijn Sandberg

The portal between the Leidseplein nightlife area and the Max Eeuweplein is pompously accentuated by a classical looking façade, designed in 1991 by Zaanen Spanjers Architects. On the frieze, supported by columns, the architect has carved an inscription: ‘Homo sapiens non urinat in ventum’ - ‘A wise man does not piss into the wind’. A ‘wisecrack’, disguised in Latin.

Address
Homo sapiens non urinat in ventum | Max Euweplein | Amsterdam

Deze muur staat er niet (Place)

Amsterdam by Martijn Sandberg

A few years ago I had a conversation with a staff member from Uytenhaak Architects about concealed texts in Amsterdam, relating to my own work ‘stoned forever’, which is integrated in brickwork in the Olympic Quarter. He said that there is a text in Morse code incorporated into the Droogbak (1989), a residential building by Uytenhaak: ‘Deze muur staat er niet’ (‘This wall isn’t here’). It is located close to the railway line. Rudy Uytenhaak later told me that this was his last opportunity to protest against the acoustic fence that had to be constructed for bureaucratic reasons.

Address
Deze muur staat er niet | Nieuwe Westerdokstraat | Amsterdam

Fence (Place)

Amsterdam by Martijn Sandberg

The fence around De Nederlandsche Bank on the Frederiksplein is a true optical experience. While passing the building, a rhythmic, dynamic pattern appears and disappears in the trellis of the fence. The figures on the sides of the rails were designed in 1992 by artist Peter Struycken, a pioneer in the area of environmental art and generating computer-program based image, light and colour compositions.

Address
Fence | De Nederlandsche Bank, Frederiksplein | Amsterdam

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