Juan Zamora

Artist selected by Torrente, Virginia at 2010
More artist content updated at 2016

My work is based on drawing as an artistic position; investigating complex concepts using simple, basic, gestural, direct language, reducing space to the minimum; getting close to spectators through the characters, space and situations on paper that interact with the space around them; giving a soul to drawing through any methodology and discipline; mixing imagination with real life; relating individual and collective imagination.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
Because art still has the ability to let you question subjects you consider important enough to be subjected to critical analysis and debate; because it’s a form of parallel communication to real life that acts directly on reality; and because it’s one of those places where there’s still room for imagination.

2. How would you define your work?
As an attempt to integrate imagined things into reality by representing them in the form of tangible artistic objects that question their own existence, their own credibility, using direct, primary tools: drawing and sound, lines and music. Stripping ideas and formats down to the bare minimum to detach them from performance, knowing that they move within performance. To let what we have in our head impact on and change someone’s interior and exterior ‘reality’; to create intimate communication between individual and collective imagination.

3. What subjects are you interested in?
Everything related to our behaviour and our understanding of reality, focusing intensely and, without generalising, commenting on anthropology, philosophy, etc. I’m particularly interested in rituals, myths, games and representing imagination in real life through tools and clear, direct, simple discourses.

4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
Resources that let me translate the codes of common external formal reality shared by us all in our human psyche, in the collective imagination, which I tackle from within my own imagination. Within artistic language, any resources that let me get across what I’m trying to represent in a simple fashion.

5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
As I see it, imagination comes from reality because it draws on reality to create discourses, and at the same time, imagination creates discourses that change reality. In my pieces, reality is digested by the psyche, which humanises it in an artistic act of representation. The real world is shaped by the imagination and vice versa. The criteria and viewpoint of each, their own cultural imagination, change their reality and shape their world. Reality is both the starting point and the destination; we’re the filter in between both, an intermediate place. Imagination based on the real world is the raw material.

6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
To question and shape reality and established ideas – and, if not, to show the impossibility of doing so.

7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I hope that people will question themselves and enjoy other places which, although imagined, have real echoes. I aim to communicate with people in another way, in an intimate form of truth. Obviously, I’m aiming at anyone and everyone out there – anyone who wants to open themselves up.

8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, singing and running around with a pencil in my hand. I studied Fine Art at university and what I value most is meeting some great professionals who gave me their time and supported me right from the start. I started to go to courses with artists at the age of 18 and I haven’t stopped since. I think it’s key to get to know the few people who seriously spend their time doing this. I travel a lot and always try to infiltrate the cultural and artistic movements where I am. I’ve always digested what I see around me through images and sounds created by me with what I had to hand, and it’s been such a progressive process that it seemed I had it all planned out, although in fact I never once stopped to think.

9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
Right now I’m working more than ever. I’ve got several exhibitions coming up and a few projects in the pipeline. This is how you can make progress in your research, finding an outlet for what you do. In addition, working as a university lecturer means I’ve got an economic base to support me as I carry out my artistic work, which also helps me keep my feet on the ground, keep active and in contact with other art professionals and students who want to start out on an art career. The only thing I want is to make progress in my art work and continue improving.

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?
I don’t think it affects my work, because it’s never been seen through an economic lens. Thanks to my university work, I’ve got an economic base, in addition to what I might earn from my pieces, which gives me a certain degree of stability. All I try and do is do my work as best I can, without getting bogged down by economic considerations. Obviously there are times when certain pieces are influenced because at the end of the day they’re going to be exhibited on a commercial circuit and have to play by the rules of that game, but I try to see it as exactly that, a game where I have to place my pieces in a different space in a different format in a different reality.

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 for mutual and respectful collaboration. We all draw from each other and we shouldn’t forget this. I don’t have much experience in this field, but what little I’ve had has been positive (with the odd exception). I hope to work fruitfully with both.

12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
There are more and more young foreign artists living and working in Madrid for a while, which is very healthy for the city’s artistic movement. In a few short years, the city has seen new centres of interest to those of us in this field and in the future there will be more. We should be grateful for this. I think one of the advantages of Madrid is that it welcomes new ideas and initiatives, even though there are still very few places to carry them out. For me the biggest problem is the lack of communication between artists working here, so I welcome initiatives like this that try to bring people together, increase their visibility and open them up to critical analysis and debate.



Curriculum vitae

Juan Zamora
Madrid, 1982.
Vive y trabaja en Madrid/Lives and works in: Madrid.


Formación Académica/Education
Residencia Artísitica/Artistic Residence, International and curatioral program ISCP, New York, USA.

Residencia Artística/Artistic Residence, Piramidón Contemporary Art Center, Barcelona,  Spain.

Master en Arte Contemporáneo/MFA, Universidad Europea de Madrid.

Licenciatura en Bellas Artes/ Bachelor of Fine Arts, C.E.S. Felipe II, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Estudios artísticos/Artistic studies en University Gallery AKI, Enschede, Nederland.


Exposiciones Individuales (Selección)/Selected Solo Exhibitions
The vulture shadow, Centre-Museum of Contemporary Art. Vitoria, Spain (Curated by Blanca de la Torre)
Bird shadow, International and curatioral program ISCP, New York, USA (curated by Kari Conte)

A vulture watching, Museum of modern art (MAMM) Medellín, Colombia.
Un mono durmiendo, Centro Cultural Juan de Salazar. Asunción, Paraguay.

Replay, Moriarty Gallery of Madrid; International Studio & Curatorial Program and Moma´s PS1 Studio visit program of New York.
2790 m, Full Moon Art Festival, Segovia.
Drawing on Malabo, Malabo Art Space, Malabo.


14,4 km / The Race, Manifesta 8, Murcia.*
Under the Shape of a Tree, Art Nueve Gallery, Murcia.
Where One Sun, Domus Artium 2002 Contemporary art Museum, Salamanca.
Yes, I am, Beijing Space Gallery, Beijing.


A Headless Four-footed Animal on the Floor, Solo Projects, Lisboa Art Fair, Lisboa.
When Air and Clouds, Moriarty Gallery, Madrid.


Playing with Myself, Espacio Sin Título, Madrid.


Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
Encounters/ArtSanya2013. Hainan/People’s Republica of China (curated by Gary Xu)
You Cannot Kill What Is Already Dead, Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto/Canada (curated by Suzanne Carte)
The children pox: el gato que vivía en un gato, Galería Rafaél Perez Hernando. Madrid, Spain (Curated by Oscar Alonso Molina)
Nunca Jamás, Fundación Valentín de Madariaga, Sevilla, Spain (curated by Sema D’costa)

Estampa. ¡Se mueve! /it´s moving!, Matadero Contemporary art Center, Madrid , Spain (curated by Gonzalo Cordero de Ciria)
That objet is a work of art, 3RDWARD New York multi-disciplinary workspace and education center, New York / USA (curated by Raúl Zamudio)
Complices del arte español contemporáneo, Fundación Canal, Madrid, Spain (curated by Rafaél Doctor)
Its a small,small world, Family Business Gallery, New York, EEUU (curated by Hennessey Youngman).
Conexiones 03 : The children pox: el misterio del perro de sol, Contemporary Art Museum ABC. Madrid/Spain (Curated by Oscar Alonso Molina)2011
On Paper, Beijing Space Gallery, Beijing.
Nulle Dies Sine Linea, Freies Museum, Berlin; Museum of Art (MoA) of Seoul; Cervantes Institute of Chicago; The Nacional Library of Lisboa.
Merrie Melodies, Domus Artium 2002 Contemporary art Museum, Salamanca.
Time to Come to Avenge, Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo ARTIUM, Vitoria-Gasteiz.


Salon Light, Vermelho Gallery, São Paulo.


Doméstico08, One Plus One's a Croad, Madrid.
Geopolitics of Animation, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, MARCO, Vigo; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, CAAC, Sevilla.


Everyday Stories, Hellenic American Union, Athína.
Video Killed the Painting Star, Domus Artium 2002, Da2, Salamanca.
Phantasmagoria Cartoons, Museo de Colecciones ICO, Madrid.


Actividades académicas/Academia Related Activities
Visual Designer at Redhero Fashion Company, Beijing / People’s Republica of China.
Visiting Artist / workshop "The anima of drawing". Cervantes Institute, Beijing / People’s Republica of China.
Visiting Artist, Fontanelle Gallerie-Studio Programm, Adelaide/Australia.

Artista visitante/profesor/Visiting Artist / Professor at the Visual Art Department of the Long Island University, New York/USA
Profesor/Professor at the Visual art Department en la Universidad Europea de Madrid.


Animando animales, Matadero Madrid.
El Cuerpo y el arte de acción desde la infancia, Scarpia Festival, Córdoba, España.
Microrevolutions, Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid.
Drawing on the city, Art Space of Malabo, Malabo.


When I am drawing, MuseoThyssen Bornemisza, Madrid.


Anima´s drawing, CES Felipe II, Madrid.


Anima´s drawing, Laboratorio de Arte Joven, LAB, Murcia.

Programas de vídeo/Film Festivals and Screenings
One minute short festival Volume 6. 20 21 Visual Arts Centre in Scunthorpe/ England; Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) / Italy; Hong Kong Contemporary Art Fair / People´s Republic of China / The Horse Hospital (London underground sessions); One Day Wonder in Alexandra Park of Manchester; the Museum of Club Culture of Hull; Aid & Abet of Cambridge; Furtherfield Gallery of London / England (curated by kerry Baldry) *

The sky is blue, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Pasando el tiempo, Colaboration with NÚBOL, Educathyssen and NINTENDO. Madrid, Spain.

Creo en África, Centro cultural de España of Malabo/Equatorial Guinea.
Collaboration with La Fabrica Galeria and AECID.
14,4 km, Eventos paralelos, Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain.
2790 metros. Full Moon Art Festival. Segovia, Spain (Curated by Tania Pardo and Rafael Doctor)

Scarpia art Festival, Cordoba, Spain.
Escala 1:1. Matadero Contemporary art Center, Madrid, Spain.
Plan B, Espacio Abisal and Conjunto Vacio. Bilbao, Spain (Curated by Eduardo hurtado)
Un dibujo animado sobre mi capital, Desvelarte Art Festival. Santander, Spain.

Alter Arte Art Festival, Murcia, Spain.

Proyectos escénicos/Works for Theater
GÜNTER Writed by María Velasco. Sala La cuarta Pared

A shadow on the window, Specific artwork for “LOS CENCI” directed by Sonia Sebastián at Teatro Español de Madrid, Spain.

Lorca al vacío, Proyecto teatral con/Theater project with Sonia Sebastián, María Velasco and Hisae Ikenaga. Sala La Bacía, Teatro de Cámara Cervantes de Madrid, Spain.

Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
La puerta, Project Award, Museum of modern art (MAMM). Medellín,Colombia.

Ministerio de Cultura. (Beca/Grant)
Grünenthal Photography Prize, España/Portugal. (Beca/Grant)


Eventos paralelos, Manifesta 8, Murcia. (Beca/Grant)
Festival Desvelarte, Santandeuropa. (Beca/Grant)
Guasch Coranty International Art Prize, Barcelona. (Beca/Grant)
Fundación Pilar Y Andrés Centenera Jaraba Contemporany Drawing Prize, Guadalajara, España.*


Premio Nacional de Arte Fundación ABC. (1er Premio/1st Prize)

Muestra de arte InJuve, Madrid.  (Artista en Residencia/Artist in Residency)


PhotoEspaña, Madrid. (Beca/Grant)

Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museum and Collections
Museo de Colecciones ICO, Madrid.
Museo de obra Gráfica San Clemente, Fundación Antonio Pérez, Cuenca.
Centro de arte contemporáneo de Sanxenxo, Pontevedra.
Fundación Valparaíso, Chile.
Colección de la Comunidad de Madrid.
Galería Moriarty, Madrid.
Galería Vacío 9, Madrid.
Galería Art nueve, Murcia. Majadahonda, Madrid.
Universidad complutense de Madrid.

Juan Zamora, Playing with myself + Junot Díaz, Invierno, Madrid, Ed. Estudiocano, 2008, Cat. Exp.
Alonso Molina, Oscar, “DNI electrónico”, ABCD de las Artes y las Letras, nº 855, Madrid, VI/2008, p.35.
Maya Santacruz, Natalia, “Tras la vigilia, los animaliyos”, Artecontexto, nº 18, 2008, Madrid, p. 135.
Geopolíticas de la animación, Sevilla, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, CAAC, 2007, Cat. Exp. Fantasmagoría.
Dibujo en movimiento, Madrid, Fundación ICO, 2007, Cat. Exp.
Castro, Fernando, “El dibujo como algo mental”, ABCD de las Artes y las Letras, nº 781, Madrid, 20/I/2007, p.32.
Alonso Molina, Oscar, “Nada más y nada menos”, ABCD de las Artes y las Letras, nº 785, Madrid, 17-23/I/2007, p. 37. Muestra de Arte InJuve, Madrid, InJuve, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, 2006, pp. 122-129, Cat. Exp.
Circuitos 05, Madrid, Comunidad de Madrid, 2005, pp. 36-41, Cat. Exp.
Álvarez Teruel, Cristóbal, “Juan Zamora, Playing with myself”, www.Arte10.com.