Martin-Jan van Santen (born 1968 in Oudehaske, Netherlands) graduated from the Academy of Arts, Constantijn Huygens in Kampen, Netherlands, where he continues to work today.
Martin-Jan van Santen draws the inspiration for his works from reality. However, his works speak for themselves and exist independently of their reference. The artist himself calls his works an "Ode to Beauty". He explores this beauty through his characteristic use of color and light. The works of van Santen mostly show young men presenting themselves authentically and vulnerable in the midst of an environment dominated by rough brushstrokes. His handling of color and light is in the Impressionist painting tradition. Rapid ductus, blurred contours and light reflections determine the artist's compositions and lend a certain sense of lightness to their motifs. A recurring theme in his works is water. Many of his scenes take place on or in the water, where his figures swim, play music or look melancholically at the calm waves of the water. Martin-Jan van Santen's works celebrate not only beauty, but also youth and lightness, without ever losing touch with reality.