march & rock magazine

A self-published magazine of visual explorations by Maarten Rots

In 2015 I released the first edition of March & Rock.With 30 issues published to date and 4 new editions every year, a subscription is the best way to stay engaged with the development of my artistic output.

Insight into a developing practice

Follow along and see how I try out different approaches and discover new possibilities.Living in a self-built camper van I travel through Europe for the better part of the year. The new surroundings I immerse myself in inevitably seep through in my work. When I'm not on the road I continue my journey inside my studio where I explore the potential of light and shadow and also work with paint, collage and mixed media. Each new issue of March & Rock reveals how my current fascinations translate into photographs.Hand-numbered in a limited edition of 200 I release four new editions every year.
Browse the archive to view and purchase previous issues.

Subscribe to March & Rock magazine

Each year I release four new issues. As creativity doesn't adhere to a calendar, new releases are not always at a regular three month interval. When you subscribe, the latest edition will be sent on its way to your home immediately.

Subscriptions come in two varieties:
the magazine only subscription and the art print subscription

Your subscription will automatically renew after 12 months

current edition

#31: Visual anagrams

A5, 16 pages + 8 page foldout poster, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in October 2023

A visual anagram, like its literary cousin, is a new combination formed by rearranging all the individual parts that make up the original formulation. By cutting up prints of my photographs and moving the pieces around in front of me I find new compositions within the same set of elements. To preserve these temporary assemblages I photograph them and continue to explore other possible arrangements.When I applied to study at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam in 2005, my portfolio mainly consisted of photographs and collages. Although I focused on other techniques during my studies, my interest in taking pictures and using existing imagery to create something new never faded.However, it wasn’t until 2015 that I became serious about photography again and it was no sooner than 2021 that I eventually returned to collage. Nowadays, both mediums are firmly back at the heart of my creative process and with my visual anagrams I have developed a process where I can combine both techniques.

This edition comes with a foldout poster with a selection of projects that I consider crucial in my development towards these recent works.

One year in a single box

The easiest way to catch up with a year of my work. At the end of each calendar year I release a limited amount of box sets, containing all four issues I published over the past 12 months.Box sets are available for 2020, 2021 and 2022, previous years sold out.

Also available in combination with a hand numbered and signed art print.
Scroll down to learn more.

#30: Solstitium

A5, 24 pages + 4 page sleeve, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in June 2023

The concept:Spend all 24 hours of the summer solstice in a single city to take photographs. Pick one photograph for each hour and compile an edition of March & Rock in chronological order.The execution:On Wednesday the 21st of June 2023 I committed myself to what would turn out to be quite the creative endurance test. Arriving just before midnight I left my van at a waterfront parking lot and walked across the Rheinkniebrücke into Düsseldorf, excited to discover what this day would bring me. The first hours without sunlight prompted a deep dive into long-exposure photography, something I wasn’t too familiar with but thoroughly enjoyed. Around 5:00 twilight directed me back to the van to stash the tripod and after a quick coffee, I continued wandering through the city, chasing the first rays of sunlight.

As the day progressed and the kilometres added up, fatigue made its appearance. At first I fought it, but eventually I understood that acceptance is the best response. Slowing down physically allowed me to get back up to speed mentally and regain my focus. It was interesting to experience how your state of mind influences what you see and where your attention goes. Accepting physical discomfort creates mental space and opens you up to your surroundings, allowing you to be more receptive.The moment the sun had turned the town gold, the whole city seemed to have come out to celebrate the last beams of light on this longest day of the year. I made my way past the crowd of modern day sun worshippers and picked up my tripod to go for another round of night photography to complete the project. Satisfied, tired, euphoric and still in discovery mode, I arrived back at the van minutes before midnight. This was definitely the longest day of the year.

magazine + art print

Also available in combination with a hand numbered and signed art print.

Hand numbered, signed and embossed. Printed on 350 grams Fedrigoni Tintoretto Gesso paper with HP Indigo ElectroInk, 20 x 30 cm + white border for framing (22 x 35 cm total size) in an edition of 100.

#29: La aldea azul

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in March 2023

Scattered across a mushroom-rich area covered with cork oaks and chestnut trees, charming villages comprised of characteristically white-washed buildings punctuate the enthralling landscape of the Serranía de Ronda in the south of Spain. For many centuries, the village of Júzcar has been one of the many pueblos blancos that can be found in this mountainous area.This changed drastically in June 2011 when a marketing agency hired by Sony Entertainment managed to convince all but one+ of the 223 inhabitants to paint each of the 175 buildings that constitute the town blue, including the church and cemetery. The centrepiece of a publicity stunt to draw attention to the premiere of the The Smurfs 3D live-action/animation film, it was a rather extreme intervention considering the town was not connected to the movie in any way.

Also available in combination with a hand numbered and signed art print.
Scroll down to learn more.

Covering the buildings with a fresh coat of white paint to re-establish the village’s achromatic appearance after the summer was part of the deal. Yet an unexpected, exponential rise in tourists visiting the village (a whopping 80,000 as opposed to a mere 300 annually in preceding years) and the accompanying prospect of new economic opportunities gave rise to a referendum; an absolute majority voting in favour of retaining the town’s new likeness.At the mercy of the elements in the sunny climate of southern Spain, a total of four repaints so far have proven necessary in order to maintain the town’s blue identity. But without recurring sponsorships and with the absence of a brand identity guide dictating a specific kind of blue++, some residents have begun to take it upon themselves to acquire wall paint of their own choice, varying in quality as much as in hue. Others seem to have given up on the costly habit of adding new layers of paint altogether, their dwellings sun bleaching, slowly fading back to white. The result is an amalgamation of facades covered in a nuanced spectrum of colours, ranging from white through blue into various shades of purple. A perpetually evolving panorama, never anticipated to outlast its intended brief existence.Fascinated by an underlying tale that touches on themes such as community, uniformity, conformity, individuality, commercialism and cultural heritage, I encountered a remarkable playground for my continuing explorations in abstraction through photography.

+) one owner stubbornly refused participation; his house was aptly nicknamed ‘Gargamel’s House’ by the other residents
++) the original coating was based on Pantone colour 298 C

#28: In coherence

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in December 2022

We may not be able to change our circumstances, but we can change what we see and how we look at it, and alter our perception accordingly. Taking the time to become aware of the moment enables us to unravel the situation and unpack the different elements that make up the present. It allows us to reconsider its parts, to revalue their importance, and makes it possible to reassign the role each element has. A slight shift in focus or perspective can profoundly affect our subjective reality and, in turn, provide us with the opportunity to consider alternative approaches towards the future or alter our perception of past experiences.

Coherence, like balance, is an act - not a permanent state. Remaining in a state of coherence demands an active attitude; we need to constantly and consciously remind ourselves of the possibility of steering ourselves towards it.When I walk around with my camera, I apply the above in a very pragmatic and straightforward manner. I actively work to be more aware and see my surroundings as a sum of their different parts, aiming to distinguish their various elements. I move in closer or step to the side; I change focus and decide what I keep in the frame as well as what I leave out by directing my view, and I compose my own subjective impression of the objective reality that I take part in. I capture the moment in a single exposure, but I walk away with more than just a photograph: a visual remainder that encapsulates an instant of the absence of incompatibility where everything sits in its right place for a split second.

#27: On native soil

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in September 2022

I was born in Nijmegen, the Netherlands’ oldest city. After a five-day hospital stay, my budding parents and I returned to our home in Aalten, the town where I grew up and spent my youth. Although I never really returned and remained unfamiliar with the city, Nijmegen is still listed as my birthplace on my credentials.I’ve always felt disconnected from that prominent piece of information, which clouds rather than clarifies who I am based on official records. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of my existence I decided to familiarize myself more with my birthplace that isn’t my hometown and once again spent five days in Nijmegen, this time photographically exploring the city.

Also available in combination with a hand numbered and signed art print.
Scroll down to learn more.

#26: Concrete waves

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in May 2022

When I was 15 years old, a group of 30 of us managed to convince the local council to give us a miniramp, a funbox and a rail.It changed my life. Our skatepark became the place I spent most of my free time, where I found my musical taste and where I made friends for life.Even though I don’t roll around anymore, the calm atmosphere of these spaces and their seemingly infinite possibilities still draws me in.

#25: Paper trail

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in February 2022

During corona-related lockdowns, I started experimenting with light projections and created conditions within which I could capture colourful, graphical compositions. I’ve continued to experiment with this technique during subsequent lockdowns.A simple sheet of white paper sparked an investigation into the use of organic shapes in my compositions.

#24: On hold / hold on

A5, 24 foldout pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in December 2021

During my first roadtrip since the start of the pandemic, I slowly became aware of the impact the preceding year and a half had had on me. Themes like the passing of time, erosion and our human urge to fight it, and the limited amount of control we have inadvertently found their way into the photographs I made.A quest for inner peace, which revealed itself to be an ongoing journey rather than a destination. I found a new appreciation for the fleeting nature of life. Here and now. Hold on.

#23: Close to home

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in July 2021

Over the past few months I have been making photographs in the city of Doetinchem (NL). The immediate reason for me to explore and photograph this city is my participation in the group exhibition “Zo zie ik het!”, opening this summer at the municipal museum. But Doetinchem is also the first actual city closest to the village where I grew up in the east of the Netherlands. In my teenage years I used to go there by train to go skating, buy CD’s and hang out.There’s quite a difference in the way I used to see the city and how I see it today. It’s good to be reminded how our perspectives change over time.

#22: Light abstractions

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in April 2021

This 22nd issue of March & Rock displays my continuation of experiments with projections of light on my studio wall, a process I began to explore last year when the corona-related lockdowns forced me to start working inside.A potential source of frustration gave an unexpected twist to the way my photographic work has developed and made me rediscover the positive impact restrictions can have on the creative process.I borrowed the title for this edition from Carlotta Corpron, an American photographer whose work from the 1940’s has been an important influence in the development of abstract photography.

#21: Shadow conflicts

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in January 2021

I am fascinated with the role shadows play in the processes our brains use to understand the depth in a given situation. It excites me even more how this process can be exploited to create puzzling imagery.Colour has always been an important element in my photography, but over the years I have also come across locations that appeared almost black and white. It is within those circumstances that a dimensionally challenging photograph becomes almost inevitable, a selection of which make up this 21st edition.

#20: Projections

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in October 2020

The photographs that make up this 20th edition of March & Rock are the direct result of staying inside during the corona pandemic. Unable to go outside I started experimenting and shaping compositions with light, discovering a universe parallel to my preceding imagery.

#19: Out of the ordinary

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in July 2020

A deep-rooted interest in perception and the way our brain processes visual information has always been one of the underlying motivations behind the photos I make. Another important element is my interest in how light works and the effects it can have on a given situation. When I first travelled to Spain and Portugal in 2017 a whole new world opened up for me. There is something about the light that I hadn’t experienced before.During the first three months of 2020 I embarked on a road trip through Spain and Portugal to further explore the abstract qualities that can be found in everyday situations.

#18: Discovering the familiar

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in April 2020

Like so many people around the world dealing with the global pandemic we are facing, I suddenly found myself restricted by a set of walls, unable to go out and roam the streets to discover the compositions I have grown so fond of. After a brief period of adjusting to the new situation, I decided to use the house as my new playground.Initially worried that my familiarity with my subject would make me lose my interest, I soon realized these restrictions allowed for a new appreciation of what I thought I knew so well. I developed a greater affection for the fleeting nature of light and shadow dancing through the day, increasing my fascination for the familiar.

#17: Surface noise

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in January 2020

“Met het risico teloor te gaan in herinnering probeer ik het detail te isoleren...”“At risk of getting lost in remembrance, I attempt to isolate the detail...”- Ton Luijten

#16: Summer in Zöbing

A5, 24 pages, full colour, digital offset print.
Published in October 2019

In the Summer of 2019 I had the opportunity to do a short but intense art-in-residence period at sommergallerieZöbing in Zöbing, Austria. This resulted in a photographic exploration of the area around the gallery.The printed edition of this issue has sold out. You can still buy it as a digital edition.