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Mart Martijn van de Griendt has been photographing young people all over the world for over fifteen years. The book Forever Young shows a selection from his oeuvre and zooms in on his photos about youth culture. As a street photographer, working in the tradition of Ed van der Elsken, Van de Griendt captures a generation of young people, who are still searching for their identity, in an open and direct way. Van de Griendt's photos show a special overview of youth then and now, here in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world.


In powerful images, Van de Griendt shows the vulnerability and openness of young people in the context of their own social group. As a documentary photographer, he captures them very sharply with their attitude, gestures and glances. Although his photos seem like snapshots, Van de Griendt leaves little to chance. He watches and patiently waits for the picture that is perfect for him, in which a subtle dynamic or tension arises. A photo of Harry (13) prior to an 'emo' concert in London illustrates Van de Griendt's working method. He portrays Harry – with charcoal around his eyes, lipstick and bangs just above the eyebrows – on the street among other emos. Emos are characterized by an alternative clothing style and an emotional slant. As soon as the absent gaze of this vulnerable-looking boy falls into his frame, Van de Griendt prints off. He captures the moments in which young people are mainly occupied with themselves and with each other. With his reports, Van de Griendt quickly wins the trust of young people. This way of working produces images that are pure and direct. The photographer says about his way of working: “I try to really get into it, like I'm one of them.”


Martijn van de Griendt
Since graduating in 1997 from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, Martijn van de Griendt has worked for many magazines and newspapers in the Netherlands such as Volkskrant Magazine, Nieuwe Revu, NRC Next and Oor. In addition, Van de Griendt captures the rapidly changing Western society in thematic series that he often works on for years. His work has been awarded prizes in various categories of the Zilveren Camera. Van de Griendt now has five photo books to his name, including 'Hassan & Hoessein' (2005) about Moroccan-Dutch twins; 'All of them!' (2006) that gives a look behind the scenes of the Dutch life song; 'Smokin'Boys Smokin'Girls' (2008), about smoking young people around the world and 'Voor je XXX Stella' (2012), for which he photographed at the Kamasutra fair for eight years.

Forever Young - Martijn van de Griendt

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