Juan Carlos Martínez

Artist selected by Hontoria, Javier at 2010
More artist content updated at 2016

Visual artist (photography, video, painting, drawing and installation). For some time I’ve been expressing my work in areas covering subjects related to desire, virility, devices for representing images and what we project onto them; reality and appearances; what is considered acceptable and what is forbidden; and the thin line between private and public. I compile images, twisting meanings and questioning taboo ways of looking at things, looking for supposedly hidden truths in subtle and invisible things.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
I’d been drawn to art ever since I was a boy. This interest grew stronger when I took an arts degree at the Art School in Mérida. After that I had no doubts about what my mission was. So far everything has happened very naturally.

2. How would you define your work?
My work is a constant search. Desire might be the driving force behind my work – hence my use of images. I’m spurred on by curiosity. The factor of surprise unleashes idealised, unreal perceptions, an impulse that leads to fascination and fantasy. I’m also interested in representing this, because it’s when it becomes an image that it starts to be an object of desire. You live experiences and consume images: postcards, fan posters, advertising, portraits of models, etc. and with them an idealisation of the world. As far as my plastic work is concerned, I start with eclectic research based on images or by exploring the expressive resources of drawing and painting.

3. What subjects are you interested in?
Ways of looking at things, human behaviour, stereotypes in representation and cultural constructions, the internet, virility, the limits between private and public, legal and forbidden, desire, eroticism, the memory of the land, travel as a vehicle of knowledge.

4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
For a while, I’ve been expressing my work through series of photographs, although I make use of all means to create images: painting, drawing, collage, video and installation.

5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
My work forms part of reality. I think Art and Life feed off each other. I always work from external sensory stimuli; they’re the basis for building visual messages. Ideas, concepts and images as a meaningful whole.

6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
To analyse, reflect on and perceive the world. Art has the ability to move people and make them feel things. It alters, enriches and adds nuances to all areas of thought; it offers alternative visions of the world around us, making us more aware and more fulfilled.

7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
Everyone will appreciate the work to different depths and empathise with it to varying degrees, depending on the complexity of the work in question. I don’t have a specific audience in mind when I’m working.

8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I’m still learning. I graduated in Fine Art from the University of Seville and took another course at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and a Master’s degree in Photography and Image at EFTI. I’ve also taken part in talks, workshops and courses, where I’ve interacted with other artists, curators and critics who have helped me develop as a person and define myself professionally.

9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
I’ve in a very fortunate professional position; so far I’ve been able to dedicate myself entirely to doing art, thanks to a series of grants from different expert juries. I don’t take this for granted, though; every day I try to stretch myself to grow and consolidate myself as a good artist.

10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
Obviously it affects us; economic considerations are one of the many factors involved in producing art. When I’ve got economic backing, I can focus and plan more ambitious projects which wouldn’t otherwise be feasible, since they call for total dedication and can’t be combined with other work. You also need motivation, ideas, a methodology, the necessary technical and material resources, discipline and a gallery with a strong voice. Even so, it’s a fairly unstable and uncertain profession – there’s nothing for certain.
I think I can count myself lucky for the time being.

11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
I expect them to understand and value my work so they can offer it to the public. I want them to be passionate about what they do. I’d like them to find some keys to their thoughts, motivations and approach in my work.
It can be a very enriching experience, depending on their commitment and professionalism.

12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere?
What would you say are its pluses and minuses? I think now there’s a move towards backing local artists from Madrid and limiting support only to residents, just as other regions in Spain have been doing for years. Despite living in Madrid, I’m not familiar with the arts scene as such, although I do know most of the Spanish events held here.

Curriculum vitae

Juan Carlos Martínez
Campanario, Badajoz, 1978.
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Madrid.

Formación Académica/Education
Taller Internacional de Paisaje con Francesc Torres, Blanca, Murcia.
Taller con Francesco Jodice, La Casa Encendida, Madrid.

Estancia InJuve dirigida por Marta de Gonzalo y Publio Pérez Prieto, Centro Eurolatinoamericano de Juventud, CEULAJ, Mollina, Málaga.

Taller con Marcos López, Escuela de Fotografía Centro de Imagen, EFTI, Madrid.
Estancia InJuve dirigida por Marta de Gonzalo y Publio Pérez Prieto, Centro Eurolatinoamericano de Juventud, CEULAJ, Mollina, Málaga.
Master en Fotografía y Tratamiento de la Imagen, Escuela de Fotografía Centro de Imagen, EFTI, Madrid.

Taller Internacional de Paisaje con Bleda y Rosa, Blanca, Murcia.
Estancia InJuve dirigida por Marta de Gonzalo y Publio Pérez Prieto, Centro Eurolatinoamericano de Juventud, CEULAJ, Mollina, Málaga.

Beca Séneca, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Taller con Ouka Lele, El Escorial, Madrid.

Licenciatura en Bellas Artes, Universidad de Sevilla.

Exposiciones Individuales/Solo Exhibitions
Expedición Spermopsida, Galería Fernando Pradilla, Madrid.

Mi lámpara de gas, Museo de Huelva.

Mirar y ser mirado, Sala de Exposiciones del Centro de Arte Joven, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid.
Proyecto D-Mencia, Doña Mencía, Córdoba, España.

Miraderos. I´m looking for, Sala Europa, Badajoz; Centro Cultural San Jorge, Cáceres.

Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions
Generación 2009, Obra Social Caja Madrid, Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Sevilla.
Orden Abierto SFC, Centro de la Imagen, México D.F.

Aptitud para las Armas, Sala Amadís, InJuve, Madrid.
Procesos del paisaje, Museo de Cádiz.

La Noche en Blanco, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid.
Mirones y mirados, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.
XVI Certamen de Artes Plásticas de la UNED, Casa de Velázquez, Madrid.
X Bienal de Artes Plásticas Ciudad de Pamplona, Pamplona.

Capitulo Tres, Fundación Antonio Gala, Córdoba, España.

City Views, XI Jornadas de Estudio de la Imagen, Sala de Exposiciones Canal de Isabel II, Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid.

Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Beca de Fotografía, Colegio de España en París, Ministerio de Cultura.

Primer Premio de Fotografía y naturaleza, Marqués Valle de Tena, Madrid. (Accésit) IX Premio ABC de Pintura y Fotografía, Madrid. (1er Premio)
XLIV Certamen de Artes Plásticas de Caja Sol, Sevilla.

Beca del Gobierno de México, CONACULTA, Centro de la Imagen, México D.F. Generación 2007, Obra social Caja Madrid, Madrid.

Madrid Procesos, Asociación de Artistas Visuales de Madrid, AVAM, Madrid.
VIII Premio Joven de Artes Plásticas de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Museo de América, Madrid. (1er Premio)

Premio Audiovisual InJuve, Instituto de la Juventud, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales.
X Certamen Bienal Unicaja de Artes Plásticas, Obra Social Unicaja, Málaga. (Adquisición)

Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museums and Collections
Colección ABC. Obra Social Caja Madrid.
Junta de Extremadura.
Obra Social Unicaja, Málaga.
Fundación Provincial de Artes Plásticas Rafael Botí, Diputación de Córdoba.
Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró, Palma de Mallorca.
InJuve, Instituto de la Juventud, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales.
Fundación Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
EXPLUM, Colección de Arte Contemporáneo, Murcia.

VV.AA., "El espectáculo del sexo” EXIT, n. 29, II/2008.
VV.AA., "XLIV Certamen de Artes Plásticas de Caja Sol", Sevilla, Sala Chicarreros, 2008, Cat. Exp.
VV.AA., "Premios y Becas de Arte Caja Madrid 2007", Madrid, Obra Social Caja Madrid, 2008, Cat. Exp.
García Nieto, Eduardo, "Mi lámpara de gas", Huelva, Museo de Huelva, 2007, Cat. Exp.
VV.AA., "Generación 2007", Madrid, Obra Social Caja Madrid, 2007, Cat. Exp.
Javier Hontoria, "Mirar y ser mirad"o, Centro de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid, Madrid, 2006.
Castro Flórez, Fernando, "Miraderos. I´m looking for", Cáceres, Sala Europa, Badajoz; Centro Cultural San Jorge, Cáceres, 2005, Cat. Exp.

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Galería Fernando Pradilla, Madrid


Galería María Llanos, Cáceres