Virginia Rota – Madrid, Spain

S_T (serie Saudade)-digital-50x70cm-2015-photo2

S_T (serie Saudade)-digital-50x70cm-2015

Briefly describe the work you do. 

I am photographer playing with pain who sometimes experiment with video. 

Tell us about your background and how that has had an influence on your work and on you as an artist.

I’ve never been interested in art. Only by writing. I made the mistake of studying psychology in college. That lost me many years. That has not taught me anything for my life. In the final year I discovered photography. I started doing photography in theaters for a magazine. Bad things happened and I felt so so sad, so I started to take more and more pictures. It’s been terrible things in my life; I guess that is why my work is not a circus (I mean the funny way).

The concept of the artist studio has a broad range of meanings in contemporary practice. Artists may spend much of their time in the actual studio, or they may spend very little time in it. Tell us about your individual studio practice and how it differs from or is the same as traditional notions of “being in the studio.”

I have not a study. I’ve never had. I used to work in the streets, taking pictures. Then at home or in a bar by editing, writing. Now I only take pictures at home. In the corridor of my house. I would love to have a study; but in Madrid the spaces are quite expensive; and I need a space with natural light, not a sewer.

What roles do you find yourself playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?

I don’t know if you mean it, but one of the weird things for me is to see a stranger staring at my pictures. About my work, I’m not doing anything I’m surprised. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but what I’m feeling it’s what I’m doing; so it seems quite natural and I’m not fulfilling a role that is foreign to me.

S_T (Saudade)-digital-50x70cm-2015

S_T (Saudade)-digital-50x70cm-2015

When do you find is the best time to make art? Do you set aside a specific time everyday or do you have to work whenever time allows?

I usually take pictures in the periods when I’m sad. When I’m really sad it is when I invite a lot of people home to take their photograph; but every day I try to do something. Work for me is not just be taking or editing photographs;I am also working to send my calls, attending e-mails or study just what is happening. 

How has your work changed in the past five years? How is it the same?

I’ve only been taking photographs 3 years. Before I was taking photograph in black and white, girls in middle of the street. I thought it was fine. Now I find it an immature work. I think my work now is more accurate, more mature than the last. However, I have the feeling that this is going to happen constantly, and I’m start thinking how wrong I am now thinking that my current work is mature, when in two years will seem like a child’s play.

S_T (serie Saudade)- digital-50x70cm-2015

S_T (serie Saudade)- digital-50x70cm-2015

How have people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers, other artists or even pop icons had an impact on the work you do?

I work on my experience. But it’s all pretty intuitive. The past is what makes my job. I really like the work of Iché Veru (photo), Sally Mann (pictured), Silvia Grav (photo), Haneke (cinema) and Angélica Liddell (theater). They are my reference as to how to bring an idea to action, but do not try to acquire an aesthetic or similar.

Have you ever been pulled in the direction of a pursuit other than being an artist? What are your other interests? 

I always wanted to be a writer. I have a blog. But I do not take it as seriously as photography; I mean you do not spend so many hours to write. Just I do not know how. The psychology was a mistake. I finished career, I could formally say I’m a psychologist. But I do not feel it. I’m interested in theatrical lighting. I’m trying to work on it now. And I just want to continue creating pictures and video.. 


headshot-virginiarotaBorn in Málaga. Actually living in Madrid. Self-taught photographer. First prize Malagacrea 2015, prize Contemporarte 2015 and selected by Incubarte 2015 (prize Galería Liebre y Galería Blanca Soto). Individual exhibitions: Saudade in Galería La casa Rosa 2015 and Agosto Clandestino, Poetry Festival, La Rioja, Logroño 2015. Collective exhibitions: Amigos Imaginarios/Amigos de verano (Museum Thyssen, 2015), Beauty (Museum MAD, Málaga 2015), Vidas Cruzadas/Festival de videocreación (Galería Paula Alonso, Madrid, 2015), Under35 (Galería GACMA, Málaga 2015), Madrid Ext/Día (PHOTOESPAÑA, TAI, Madrid 2014), Celebración (Exposición colectiva, Fundación Cruzcampo, Parking Salitre, 2013), Proyecto Dispara-T (Exposición en balcones, MAUS, Málaga 2013), Más grotesco(Exposición comisariada por Los Interventores, Málaga, 2013) y Malagorée (Isla de Gorée, Senegal 2013).

As a filmmaker; my first short film DOLO (foundfootage’s exercise on pain) was nominated for Best Film and Best Director in Notodofilmfest 2014 and selected by IVAHM 2015. CADENCE, my first documentary about the dancer Janet Novás, has participated in the International Film Festival of Gijón, International Film Festival 22xDon Luis Buñuel, Festival ICARO, Festival de Teatro y Danza Contemporánea de Bilbao-Bilboko Antzerki Dantza (BAD) and IX MIVSC – São Carlos Videodance Festival.

My interest stems from the need to express myself and approach what I do not understand.

girls on a gallery painting one of my portrait (serie 'Saudade) 

All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission. 


About 365Artists/365Days

The purpose of this project is to introduce its readership to a diverse collection of art that is being produced at the national and international level. Our goal is to engage the public with information regarding a wide array of creative processes, and present the successes and failures that artists face from day to day. The collaborators hope that this project will become a source for exploring and experiencing contemporary art in all its forms.
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