Paula Rubio Infante

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

Paula Rubio Infante carries out interdisciplinary work (video, installation, drawing and photography) looking at subjects such as tradition, sacrifice, the slaughterhouse and taboos, using animals as a metaphor for humans. From a critical perspective, her work – always documentary in nature – delves into the deepest depths of the human condition.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
I was brought up to be an artist, so I don’t remember taking a conscious decision. I’ve always been good at drawing since I was young and I’ve always liked it. When I grew up I realised art was what I did best and I’m still at it. I think it’s the best possible job.

2. How would you define your work?
Tense, sincere, cutting, beautiful.

3. What subjects are you interested in?
Sideline subjects that are ignored by most people because they’re awkward and compromising to talk about and because it hurts. Fernando Castro said of my work: “Her works are traces in pursuit of meaning, visceral attempts to overcome pessimism, exorcisms of catastrophe.” I can’t think of a better way of putting it myself. I’m interested in tradition, religion, taboos, sacrifice, the slaughterhouse, the State, borders, baggage…

4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
I use whatever interests me to help get my message across, anything that helps spectators understand the finished work. However, there are several recurring elements in my work that clearly define my style: · The use of everyday objects whose logical or expected function has been changed. · The use of images of animals as a metaphor for humans. · An understanding of the creative process as inseparable from the ‘finished work’: notes, found press photos, drawings and watercolours, which I always include in exhibitions. · The use of photographs of a living being as if they were a living being themselves. · The use of double, juxtaposed and simultaneous projections in audiovisual works.

5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
My raw material is the human condition in its cruellest and most ‘speciesist’ form. I am still unable to understand how humans can behave as they do and discriminate (kill, torture) against other human beings who are in some way different (religion, race, sex, etc.), so I have this need to talk about it, to work on these subjects that interest and bother me. All my work is based on wide-ranging archives of images, texts and articles found in the daily press. Based on this information, I design a project and create my own material (photographs, drawings, watercolours, videos), which is always documentary in nature and serves as the basis for the final work (normally an installation or audiovisual piece). So my work is intimately connected to reality: I deal with real-life subjects and create real-life images, since they are based on documentary material that I change very little.

6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
To produce cracks in the established order, create spaces for rebellion, and to be enjoyed whilst this rebellion takes shape.

7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
I don’t expect anything specific from the public; I just ask for a certain degree of attention and hope they reach their own conclusions about the subjects I work on – and, maybe, get excited every now and again.

8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
I have an academic background: I studied Fine Art in Madrid and studied the first year of a PhD. I also attended a number of workshops and seminars with artists (including Pedro Mora and Antón Lamazares) and was given a grant for a PhD in Argentina. When I came back I decided not to continue with the PhD, but to work fulltime on plastic arts. From my time in education, I value what I learnt about art in general (how to find your own language, the need for art and its role) rather than specific technical issues.

9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
I can’t really complain about my current professional situation, because there are plenty of people worse off than me. But even so, I need things to get better. I need projects to get involved with, more opportunities for exhibiting, more money to carry out projects just waiting for finance, etc. I feel very confident about my work and I’m sure that sooner or later I’ll achieve the goals I’ve set myself. The problem is that, what with the art world the strange place it is, at times you’re at a loss as to which doors to knock on. There’s another difficulty as well: given the subject matter and forms I use, my work can be quite tough to take on board and not all galleries/institutions/curators are interested in it.

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?
Unfortunately, economic considerations have a bearing on each and every area of life in our society. In my case, economic limitations hold me back not only as an artist, but also as a friend, student, woman, daughter, art spectator, mother, sportswoman, tourist in a foreign country, cook, etc. Limited economic resources affect what I talk about in my work, how I carry it out, where and when I do it, what materials I use, what media I use to publicise it and how, how I record its final exhibition, how I put it up and take it down, how I transport it, my relationship with promoters and gallery owners, etc. I decided I should make all these limitations part of my identity, so I’d have the chance to compete with other, better-off creators in an art scene where the means of production and promotion are king.

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?
Leaving my own personal experience to one side, I think artists are very vulnerable in their professional relationships. The outcome of these relationships is determined simply by the good will of the other party (gallery owner, curator, etc.) and this outrageous situation is meekly accepted by the art community as a whole. There’s a need for basic, compulsory regulations for both parties so each relationship is governed by these guidelines, rather than by what best suits the gallery/curator/institution. Most the time, artists have to accept unfair conditions out of a fear of reprisals or losing opportunities, and their basic rights are trampled on. For example, we have problems getting delivery notes for work, getting enough promotion, getting paid, etc. Nevertheless, despite the possible abuses, when galleries/curators/promoters do their work well, this gives artists the chance to spend more time on creating, rather than managing their professional career and/or media coverage. This is what I look for in my relationships with promoters/curators – so I have more time to draw.

12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
Unfortunately, I haven’t got much experience of other art scenes, so I can’t make a serious comparison. However, in general, I think that Madrid is somewhat backward in terms of carrying out independent art activities (open days at studios, exhibitions managed by the artists themselves, meetings and debates outside institutions, etc.). I think this is due to a lack of means, rather than an inability to carry out these kinds of activities. My generation have tried to hold these kinds of events, but they have fallen by the wayside due to a lack of media coverage. While some initiatives get blanket coverage in all the media and are showered with subsidies, other events of the same or better quality are simply ignored or end up disappearing through a lack of support. In addition, I think young artists have to pass through a terrible space between graduating and the age of thirty-something: a void with no resources, help or support that swallows up the hopes of all too many talented artists. Finding a reasonably priced studio becomes an impossible odyssey; there are very few grants available; workshops and seminars are often expensive; galleries don’t usually work with young people, etc. On the other hand, I should also say that the city’s museums and art centres put on an amazing number of excellent exhibitions, which makes Madrid an incomparable place for art professionals and art lovers. This is something we can be proud of – I think in the past five years the city has come along leaps and bounds.


Curriculum vitae

Rubio Infante
Madrid, 1977
Vive y trabaja en/Lives and works in: Madrid.

Formación Académica/Education
Primer Curso de Doctorado Especialidad de Escultura, Facultad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid.


Licenciatura en Bellas Artes/Bachelor of Fine Arts, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Seminarios y Talleres/Seminars and Workshops
I Ciclo de Arte Público La ciudad como escenario, Asociación de Artistas Plásticos de Madrid, Colegio de Arquitectos de Madrid, COAM.
Jornadas sobre la identidad de una ciudad, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Taller/seminario Arte Actual, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.
Seminario/taller La distancia y la huella. Para una antropología de la mirada, Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, Cuenca.
Seminario de Fotografía Digital, Departamento de Diseño y Artes de la Imagen, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
IX Curso de Dibujo y Escultura en Bronce, Escuela Libre de Artes Plásticas de Priego, Córdoba.
Curso Escultura en madera, I Universidad de Verano de Escultura de Alicante, Fundación Eduardo Capa.

Exposiciones Individuales (Selección)/Selected Solo Exhibitions

Ríen los dioses, Galería Paula Alonso (Madrid), Madrid.
Ríen los dioses, Galería Paula Alonso (Madrid), ZONA MACO Solo Project, Nuevas Propuestas curadora Mirjam Varadinis, México DF.

Come mierda, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.


Bultos, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.


Entre pecho y espalda, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.


Downstream, Galería Ka, Madrid.


Gráficas del extranjero, Colegio de Arquitectos de San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina.

Exposiciones Colectivas (Selección)/Selected Group Exhibitions
Objetos de deseo, Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, Madrid, comisario Carlos Delgado Mayordomo.


SUMMA ART FAIR, Galería Paula Alonso (Madrid), Madrid.
PINTA ART LONDON, Galería Paula Alonso (Madrid), Londres.
Artview01 Galila, Atomium, Bruselas.

Offene Ateilier, Karl Hofer Gesellschaft eV. y AVAM (Madrid), Berlin.
ARTESANTANDER, Galería Paula Alonso (Madrid), Santander.
Generación 2012, Espai Cajamadrid, Barcelona.
ARCO, Galería Formatocómodo (Madrid), Madrid.
Generación 2012, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, comisaria Oliva María Ruido.

Zona Maco 2011, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), México D.F.
Foro Sur, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Cáceres.


Zona Maco 2010, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), México D.F.
Madrid Foto, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.
Volta, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Basel.
ARCO 2010, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.


Estampa, Galería Arteinversión (Madrid), Madrid.
Photographica, Madrid.
Scope Basel, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Basel.
Foro Sur, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Cáceres.


Festival PhotoEspaña, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.
Estampa 08, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.


Festival PhotoEspaña, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.
Estampa 07, Galería Arteinversión (Madrid), Madrid.
La Movida. Jóvenes Creadores, Galería Formato Cómodo (Madrid), Madrid.
Muestra de Arte, InJuve, Sala de Exposiciones de la Biblioteca Pública Zamora.


IX Mostra Internacional Unión Fenosa
MACUF, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Unión Fenosa, A Coruña.
Muestra de Arte, InJuve, Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.


Los Invisibles: presos, putas y submarinistas, Festival Periferias 2005, Agit Prop, Centro Cultural Matadero, Huesca.


Yo, XXXXXXXXX, puta, en invierno..., Galería Ka, Madrid.
Fragmentos: 11 lecturas ávidas, Galería Ka, Madrid.

Desvelados, Asociación de Artistas Visuales de Madrid, AVAM, Madrid.


Loop Festival, International festival & Fair for Videoart, Barcelona.


¡Mientras vivas en esta casa...!, C.A.S.I.T.A., Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Concejalía de Cultura de El Escorial, Madrid.
Mirador 2005, Berzosa de Lozoya Madrid.


Casas y Calles, 1º/ 2ª edición, Madrid.


Botella ao Mar, Plataforma Nunca Máis y AGAV, Santiago de Compostela.


Proyecto Calle I, Convocatoria de Arte Público de Peralta, Ayuntamiento de Peralta, Navarra.


Forum Libre de Artistas Contemporáneos Canal Abierto, Sala de Exposiciones Canal de Isabel II, Madrid.
Sentidos Gratis 3.0., Asociación Sentidos Gratis, Oporto Portugal.


Actividades Académicas/Academic Related Activities
Profesora Colaboradora Honorífica del Departamento de Escultura, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
Ayudas para la promoción del arte contemporáneo español 2013, Ministerio de Cultura,Educación y Deporte, Gobierno de España (Ayuda a la producción/Production grant)


MADRID PROCESOS 12/ BERLIN, AVAM y Karl Hofer Gesellschaft e.V. de la Freundeskreis der Universität der Künste de Berlín (Ayuda a la producción y residencia/Production grant and Residence)

VIII Premio ARCO Comunidad de Madrid a Jóvenes Artistas. (Award)
Generaciones 2012, Obra Social Caja Madrid. (Ayuda a la producción/Production grant)


Premio Engloba de Artes Plásticas 2009, Grupo Engloba Comunicación Valencia. (1er Premio/1st Prize)
Premios de Pintura del Ejército del Aire 2009, Ministerio de Defensa, Madrid. (1er Premio/1st Prize)


Certamen de Pintura ANFACO El mar y sus productos, Ministerio de Agricultura y Pesca, Madrid. (1er Premio/1st Prize)
Premios Virgen del Carmen 2007 Premio Armada de Pintura, Instituto de Historia y Cultura Naval, Madrid. (1er Premio/1st Prize)
Beca Intermediade, Programa de Ayudas a la Creación Contemporánea 2007, Matadero Madrid, Ayuntamiento de Madrid. (Grant)


Premios InJuve para la Creación Joven 2006, Certamen Audiovisual, InJuve, Ministerio de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, Madrid. (Ayuda a la producción/Production grant)


Beca Artes Plásticas Propuestas 2006, Fundación Arte y Derecho VEGAP, Madrid. (Grant)
Premio IX Certamen Internacional de Pintura y Fotografía Ciudad Alcázar de San Juan 2005, Diputación de Ciudad Real. (Award)


Beca Ayuda a la Creación Artística Contemporánea Iniciarte 2003, Junta de Andalucía Consejería de Cultura, Sevilla. Beca Centro de Recursos Medialab Madrid, Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid. (Producción de obra)


Beca Ampliación de estudios de Postgrado, Intercambio por Convenios para Estudiantes de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid con la Universidad de Tucumán, Argentina. (Grant)


Beca Investigación Plástica para Intervenciones Artísticas en Ámbito Urbano, Ayuntamiento de Móstoles en colaboración con la Universidad Complutense de Madrid. (Ayuda a la producción/Production grant)

Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museum and Collections
Consejería de Cultura y Turismo Comunidad de Madrid.
Colección de Dibujos del Gabinete de Dibujo, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Diputación de Teruel. Diputación de Ciudad Real.
Ejército de Aire, Madrid. Armada Española, Instituto de Historia y Cultura Naval, Madrid.
Fundación Cruzcampo Ciudad de Calahorra, Museo de La Rioja, Logroño.
Ayuntamiento de Fuenlabrada, Madrid. Ayuntamiento de San Martín de Valdeiglesias, Madrid.
Museo Taurino, Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, Madrid.

Vozmediano, Elena, "Paula Rubio Infante", Generaciones 2012, Obra Social Caja Madrid, Madrid, 2012. Cat. Exp.
Ortega Dolz, Patricia, "Arte es sumergirse en lo sucio, El País, Madrid, 26/II/2011.
Espejo, Bea, "Talleres abiertos", El Cultural, El Mundo, Madrid, 4/III/2011.
Santos, Juan José, "Jóvenes artistas en Madrid. Nuevas visiones", Revista Lápiz, nº 264, 12/X-XI/2011, pp. 3-5.
Duero, Javier, "Paula Rubio Infante [en crudo]", Formatocómodo, nº 15, Madrid, 25/I/2011.
Castro Flórez, Fernando, "Bestiario", Madrid, Formato Cómodo, 2008, Cat. Exp.
Castro Flórez, Fernando, ""El horror, el horror... (Notas para aproximarse con cautela al imaginario de Paula Rubio Infante)"
"Bestiario", nº 005, Madrid, Galería Formato Cómodo, 27/XI/08, pp.3-5.
Castrortega, Pedro, "Agitación", Madrid, Galería de Arte ArteInversión, 2008, Cat. Exp.
Hontoria, Javier, "Rubio Infante, desde el desgarro", El Cultural, Madrid, 1-7/II/07, pp. 31.
Guasch, Anna María, "Downstream", Madrid, Galería Ka, 2005, Cat. Exp.
Guasch, Anna María; Marín-Medina, José, "Los invisibles: presos, putas y submarinistas", Huesca, Diputación Provincial de Huesca, 2005, Cat. Exp.


(+34) 654429575

Galería Paula Alonso.
C/ Lope de Vega, 29. 28014 Madrid.
+34 91 420 34 22.