If time doesn’t exist

I first met Anton Martineau – painter, poet and native of Amsterdam – at one of the many parties at our home. I was 17 years old at the time.

Fascinated by this man, a week later I decided to bake a cake and visit Anton in his studio on the KNSM Island.  With a sense of wonderment I entered his workplace: an enormous space filled to the gills with paintings and drawings of nude women and crazy characters, surrounded by a collection of old and bizarre pieces. I took a seat by the window and looked at the city. I saw the wide horizon with ships in the distance. Below was a muddy street full of building materials. We drank black coffee and ate the home-made cake. I listened attentively to his extraordinary tales of love, the tango, and life.  Hours passed and I felt as if I had stepped into another world. In order to capture this special moment I made a portrait of him.  I did not realise at the time that this photograph would become the first of an entire series.

Curious about his world, as well as to escape my world where everything happens so fast, I knocked at his door with a bottle of wine and a pastry a few times a year.  Then I let myself be immersed in the beauty of his work and his stories, and a special friendship developed between us.  At each occasion, I photographed our meetings.

Twelve years have passed and again I sit by the window. The city has developed with lightening speed. The ships are gone and modern high-rise buildings dominate the horizon. That which once was a piece of no man’s land has now been completely taken over by yuppies.  

I look at Anton, at the space, and suddenly realize that here time does not exist.


Photography: Anaïs López
Text: Anaïs López
Poems and drawings: Anton Martineau
Graphic design: Linda Braber
Edition: 600 copies