Juan López

Artist selected by Pardo, Tania at 2010
More artist content updated at 2016

In recent years, Juan López has been working with different formats such as drawing and video, but the core of his work is a series of ephemeral interior and exterior murals. In his interior pieces, he uses drawings made with adhesive materials to change the perception of the space; in his exterior ones, he throws out messages to spectators using aspects of advertising language without actually selling anything.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
I decided to study Fine Art because I liked drawing and playing with objects just for the fun of it. Later I applied for the InJuve art exhibition and was selected, and since then I’ve had a steady stream of projects.

2. How would you define your work?
A vision of what’s around me.

3. What subjects are you interested in?
Drawing, audiovisuals (music and videogames), posters, advertising hoardings and street signs, art workers (assemblers, security guards, cleaners, attendants…).

4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
Cut and paste.

5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
For mural drawings, I always work with photographs I take on the street of things or situations that grab my attention: advertising hoardings, broken signs, street furniture or gardeners doing a spot of pruning.

6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
Maybe so a handful of institutions get the benefit of tax deductions…

7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
When I exhibit in an art space, I hope people will be surprised by the way I interpret the space. When I work in the street, I like the idea that the people who will see it don’t necessarily have anything to do with art. I’m aiming at anyone and everyone who stops for a minute to look at what I do.

8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I studied Fine Art at university in Cuenca, which is one of the few arts schools where you don’t have to specialise, so I was able to explore different areas, from painting to video, without having to focus on just one. For me, it’s important to be able to learn a bit of everything so you can then choose one technique or other depending on what you want to say. What I value most from my time in education is the people I was with during those years and being able to carry out lots of projects without a budget.

9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
At the moment it’s good, bearing in mind the amount of people doing amazing things with no support from institutions. As far as the future is concerned… well, my last project was entitled Today I Don’t Aspire to Anything.

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?
Yes, it does. You come up with different projects depending on whether you’ve got money for production or not.

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 hope they remain interested in my work and offer me more projects. Some of those I’ve worked with have helped me to get a better understanding of what I was doing at the time. With others, I’ve seen that there’s always someone else above them, who usually has their hands on the purse strings and is only interested in certain kinds of projects.

12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
The fact that it’s in Madrid; that there’s more money; and that there are more people who might be interested in your work. Positive: it looks like it knocks the spots off Barcelona. Negative: if you want a decent place to work at a reasonable price, you have to look outside the M-40 ring road – and if I’m going to do that then I might as well go back to my own town.

Curriculum vitae

Juan López Díez
Alto Maliaño, Cantabria, 1979.
Vive y trabaja en Madrid/Lives and works in: Madrid.

Formación Académica/Education
Cursos de Doctorado, “Arte e investigación”, Universidad de Cuenca.


Licenciatura en Bellas Artes, Universidad de Cuenca.


Exposiciones Individuales (Selección)/Selected Solo Exhibitions
Centro de Arte La Panera, Lleida.
OK Centrum, Linz, Austria.
Galería La Fábrica, Madrid.


1812_2012. Una Mirada Contemporánea, Artium, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria.
Tokyo Story 2010, Aoyama. TWS, Tokyo.


Looking for patrons. Archimobile de Matadero, Carpe Diem, Lisboa.


Retrovisores, Bellevue, Linz, Österreich.
Juan López, Sala Naos, Santander.


Hoy no aspiro a nada, Espai 13, Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona.


Para tu tara, Centro de Arte Santa Mónica, Barcelona.
Estuve en Toledo y me acorde de ti, Espacio Contemporáneo Archivo de Toledo, ECAT, Toledo.


One´n´One. Proyecto En Casa, La Casa Encendida, Madrid.


Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
Art Situacions. Una mirada prospectiva, Centro de Arte Santa Mónica, Barcelona.


Regeneración: lugar, paisaje y memoria, Sofia Arsenal, Museum for Contemporary Art, Bulgaria.
Impakt festival 2011: Urban Screen, Neude Square, Utrech, Nederland.


Los 24 Escalones y Joan Miró, Museo Nacional de la República, Brasilia.
7ª Bienal de Arte Leandre Cristòfol, La Panera, Lleida.
Guerrilla, PCI, Billère, France.
Valparaiso Intervenciones, Valparaiso, Chile.


Liste Fair, Basel, Galeria Nogueras Blanchard, Basel, Sverige.
AUTO. Sueño y Materia, LABORAL Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón; Centro de Arte 2 de Mayo (CA2M), Madrid.


Festival PhotoEspaña, Museo Casa Zavala, Cuenca.

Planes Futuros, Baluarte de Pamplona.
Cart[ajena], Congreso Internacional de la Lengua Española, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.
New Contemporary Artists from Spain. A proposal, KIAF 2007, Seoul, Corea.

I Bienal de Arquitectura Arte y Paisaje de Canarias, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Trial Balloms/Globos Sonda, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, MUSAC, León.
Mirador 06, Media Art from Spain, O.K. Centrum, Linz, Österreich.

Itinerarios 04-05, Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander, Cantabria
Permanencias Difusas, Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, CAB, Burgos.


Urbania, Sala Amadís, InJuve, Madrid.

Dieciocho, Muestra de Arte, InJuve, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.

Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Beca CAM Artes Plásticas (Grant)


International Creator Residency Program 2010, Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan.
Premio ABC de Arte. (Award)


Concurso Artes Plásticas del Gobierno de Cantabria. (1er Premio/1st Award)

Premio Altadis de Artes Plásticas. (1er Premio/1st Award)
Generación 2007, Premios y Becas de Arte Caja Madrid. (Selección/Selected)

Muestra de video FIAV, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, CASM, Barcelona. (Selección/Selected)
Residencia HANGAR, Centro de Producción de Artes Visuales, Barcelona. (Artist in residence)

Beca de Artes Plásticas, Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander. (Beca/Grant)


Muestra de Arte, InJuve, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, Madrid.


Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museum and Collections
Gobierno de Cantabria.
Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Espacio, Camargo, Cantabria.
Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha.
InJuve, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, Madrid.
Fundación Marcelino Botín, Santander.
Fundación Altadis, España; Francia.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, MUSAC, León.

Sanchez Balmisa, Alberto, "Juan López en Galería La Fábrica", Madrid, Exit Express, 1/IV/08.
Díaz-Guardiola, Javier, "Entrevista a Juan López", Madrid, ABCD de las Artes y las Letras, 15/III/08.
Riaño, Peio, "Algún día os querré", Madrid, Diario Público, 14/III/08.
Hontoria, Javier, "Entrevista a Juan López", Madrid, El Cultural, El Mundo, 13/III/08.
Fauconnier, Benoit, "Juan López", Francia, Actes Sud/Altadis, 2007, Cat. Exp.
Revuelta, Laura, "Cuidado con el segurata", Madrid, ABCD de las Artes y las Letras, 25/III/06.