Edgar Martins was born in Évora but grew up in Macau. In 1996 he moved to the UK, where he completed a BA in Photography at the London College of Printing & Distributive Trades, as well as an MA in Photography and Fine Art at the Royal College of Art (London).
His work is represented internationally in several high-profile collections, such as those of the V&A (London), the National Media Museum (Bradford, UK), RIBA (London), the Dallas Museum of Art (USA); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), Fundação EDP (Lisbon), Fondation Carmignac (Paris), among others.
His first book—Black Holes & Other Inconsistencies—was awarded the Thames & Hudson and RCA Society Book Art Prize. A selection of images from this book was also awarded The Jerwood Photography Award in 2003.
Between 2002 and 2014 Martins published 7 separate monographs, which were also received with critical acclaim. These works were exhibited internationally at institutions such as PS1 MoMA (New York), MOPA (San Diego, USA), Laumeier Sculpture Park (St. Louis, USA), Centro Cultural de Belém (Lisbon), Centro de Arte Modern de Bragança (Bragança, Portugal), Museu do Oriente (Lisbon), Centro Cultural Hélio Oiticica (Rio de Janeiro), The New Art Gallery Walsall (Walsall, UK), PM Gallery & House (London), The Gallery of Photography (Dublin), Ffotogallery (Penarth, Wales), The Wolverhampton Art Gallery (Wolverhampton, UK), amongst others.among many others.
In 2010 the Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian (Paris) hosted Edgar Martins’ first retrospective exhibition.
In 2014 The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation/Modern Art Centre hosted the official launch The Rehearsal of Space & The Poetic Impossibility to Manage the Infinite, a project developed in partnership with The European Space Agency.
Edgar Martins was the recipient of the inaugural New York Photography Award (Fine Art category) in May 2008. In 2009 he was also awarded the prestigious BES Photo Prize (Portugal), as well as a SONY World Photography Award (Landscape category). In 2010 Edgar Martins was nominated for the Prix Pictet 2009 and awarded 1st prize in the Fine Art— Abstract category of the 2010 International Photography Awards.
Martins was selected to represent Macau (China) at the 54th Venice Biennale.