Bubi Canal (b. 1980, Santander, Spain) is a Spaniard-American artist based in New York whose photography, video art, and sculpture playfully addresses ideas around hybrid mythology, identity and personal history. After earning a BFA at the University of the Basque Country in Bilbao, he went on to study at the Complutense University of Madrid, before moving to New York in 2011. Canal’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at galleries and institutions worldwide, including the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati; Digitaliseum in Malmö, Sweden; and Munch Gallery in New York. He has also shown work in numerous group exhibitions, in venues including the Galicia Contemporary Art Center in Spain, Aperture Foundation in New York, NOW Gallery in London, and Benaki Museum in Athens. 

Canal’s work was featured on the cover of The British Journal of Photography. He was selected for the 2016 issue of Foam Talent, and included in the Foam Talent group exhibitions at Red Hook Labs in New York City and Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall in London. He has contributed to New York Magazine, The New Yorker and T Magazine - The New York Times. Canal was an artist-in-residence at Silver Art Projects, an organization that supports artists by providing a yearlong studio space in New York.


Education

2005   BFA, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain
2004   SICUE-Seneca, Complutense University of Madrid, Spain

Solo Exhibitions

2023   Horizon, Nave Sotoliva, Santander, Spain
2019   Into the Gloaming, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
2016   Hologram, Digitaliseum, Malmö, Sweden
2015   Magic Garden, Munch Gallery, New York
2013  Special Moment, Munch Gallery, New York
2011   Supercolor, Del Sol St. Art Gallery, Santander
2010  Supercolor, La Fresh Gallery, Madrid

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023   I Don't Know How To Respond To That, PhMuseum, Bologna, Italy
2022   Human Stories, NOW Gallery, London 
              Colección 2022, LCDLLUZ, Santander, Spain
2020   New Horizons, Digitaliseum, Malmö, Sweden
2019   Athens Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Athens
2018   On The Wall, Arts+Literature Laboratory, Madison, Wisconsin
             In·spire, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York
             Identidad y Máscara, La Encartada Museoa, Balmaseda, Bizkaia 
2017   Still Searching, The Benaki Museum, Athens
             Foam TALENT, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, London
             Mujhéroes, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, México
             Foam TALENT, Red Hook Labs, New York
2016   Photography is Magic, Aperture Foundation, New York
             Rencontres Internationales, Gaîté Lyrique, Paris
             Erik Hanson ‘Two years of looking’, New Art Projects, London
             Rituals and Performance, Lagos Photo Festival, Nigeria 
             Athens Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Athens 
2015   Non objective, Circuit 12 Contemporary, Dallas
             Interface, Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York
             Art After Dark, AMA Art Museum of the Americas, Washington
             H30/003 The Drift, Three Rivers, Pittsburgh 
             Art Up!, Samuel Maenhoudt Gallery, Lille, France
2014   Unseen Photo Fair, Galería Tagomago, Amsterdam 
             P2P, PHoto España 2014, Fernán Gómez, Madrid
             Turismo Efímero, Centro Cultural Pachano Lalama, Ambato, Ecuador
             Bubi Canal for Spain Fresh, Bowery, New York
             Turismo Efímero, ADDAYA, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Mallorca 
2013   Trust In Me, Field Projects Gallery, New York
             Video Dumbo, Eyebeam Art+Technology Center, New York
             Turismo Efímero, Galería Anomalía, México D.F
             Illustrative Berlin, Direktorenhaus Gallery, Berlin
             Don't Look at My Camera, Museu da Image, Braga, Portugal
             Last Night, Jugada a tres bandas, Galería 6mas1, Madrid
2012   Psychopomp, Munch Gallery, New York
             Rencontres Internationales, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
            It’s a Small, Small World, Family Business Gallery, New York
            Dandi, Jugada a 3 bandas, Mad is Mad, Madrid
            Fonlad, Galería Santa Clara, Coimbra, Portugal
2011   Rencontres Internationales, Centre Pompidou, Paris
            Skeletor Saves, Headquarters Studios, New York
            BYOB Bring Your Own Beamer, Matadero, Madrid
            La música es la respuesta a tus problemas, La Fresh Gallery, Madrid
2010  Arte Lisboa, Del Sol St Art Gallery, Lisboa
            Videomusichat Generation, Espace Ample, Barcelona
            MutaVideo, MID_E Studio, Arteleku, San Sebastián 
            Arte Santander, Del Sol St Art Gallery, Santander
            Óptica Festival, La Casa Encendida, Madrid
            El Tiempo Encapsulado, BAC, H2O Gallery, Barcelona

Honors and Awards

2021   1854 Fast Track, The British Journal of Photography, London
2020  Photography Gold Medal, New York Magazine, SPD Awards, New York 2019   Spain Arts & Culture, Washington DC
             Nominated Prix Pictet, Hope, London
2016   Foam Talent, Amsterdam
2011   Archivo de Creadores de Madrid, Matadero, Madrid
2011   Visual Arts Fellowship, Government of Cantabria, Santander
2009 Óptica Award, Best Gallery Video, Del Sol St. Art Gallery, Madrid

Residencies

2021   Silver Art Projects, Artist Residency, New York

Public Talks

2024  Walk-Through of Bubi Canal’s Horizon, Nave Sotoliva, Santander 
2020  Artist talk, Two Pages Project, London
2019   Chat with Bubi Canal, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati
             Lecture Series, DAAP, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati
2018   Diálogos de artistas en español, NYFA, New York 
2017   Walk-Through for Parsons at Foam Talent, Red Hook Labs, New York 2016   Artist talk, Digitaliseum, Malmö, Sweden
2016   Foam Talent Panel Discussion, Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam
2015   Interface Artist Walk-Through, Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York 
2012   Creators of Matadero, Matadero, Madrid

Publications

2023  Horizon, Nave Sotoliva
2017   American-ABCD, Paripe Books
2016   Bubi Canal, Jorge Clar, Pupa Press
2014   Dreamtime, ACDOS Actividad Contemporánea 
2013   Manual, RV.Papers

Teaching

2021    Howl High arts educational program, Howl! Happening, New York
2020   Color: Material + Light, Montserrat College of Art, Massachusetts
              Learning Lab, TUMO Center, Yerevan, Armenia           
              MasterClass, Cesine University, Santander, Spain
2018    Bubi Canal Workshop, Wix Design Playground, New York
2012    Workshop, ICI Independent Curators International, New York

Selected Bibliography

2023   Guillermo Balbona, “El horizonte alternativo de Bubi Canal” 
              El Diario Montañes, October 29, 2023
2022   Guillermo Balbona, “El Santanderino Bubi Canal”
              El Diario Montañes, August 4, 2022
              Michelle Duncan, “Prime Space, Visibility, and Community” 
              Metropolis, July 28, 2022
              Elissaveta M.Brandon, “You’re on top of the world”
              Fast Company, June 29, 2022
              Andres Senra, “Bubi Canal: Geometría, Color y Fábula” 
              Clavoardiendo, May 10, 2022
              Liz Sales, “Playing through Portraiture”
              LensCulture, March 7, 2022
              Artist Feature - Bubi Canal “Into the Gloaming” 
              Der Greif, February 9, 2022
2021   Joanna Cresswell, “Introducing 1854's FastTrack winners: Bubi Canal”
              British Journal of Photography, June 25, 2021
              Marta Mantecon, “Este es el lugar del que te hablé”
              Hop Magazine, June 2, 2021
              Sema D’Acosta, “En un mundo que tiende a lo incorpóreo”
              Fundació Foto Colectania, January 21, 2021
2019   Marc Feustel, “Bubi Canal's playful, constructed portraits”
              British Journal of Photography, July 2, 2019
              Ted Malawer, “The Escape”
              T The New York Times Style Magazine, April 10, 2019 
              Guillermo Balbona, “El artista cántabro Bubi Canal”
              El Diario Montañes, July 2, 2019
              Jude Noel, “The Contemporary Arts Center”
              City Beat, July 8, 2019
              Kala Barba, “Quirky characters and twilight backdrops”
              PLAIN Magazine, December 16, 2019
2018    Diane Pernet, “Hologram by Bubi Canal”
              ASVOF, June 6, 2018
2017    What’s New?, “Bubi Canal”
             Foam Magazine, August 15, 2017
             Jessica Schezckenfuchs-Vallent, “Childhood Dreams” 
              Ooom Magazine, July 17, 2017
2016    Gumrah Sengün, “Karanlik Zamanlarin en Renkli Manifestosu” 
              Calling Magazine, October 25, 2016
              Marcel Feil, “Dreamtime”
              Foam Magazine, September 6, 2016
              Charlotte Cotton, “Aperture Summer Open” 
              Aperture, July 13, 2016
              Ana Belén, “Dreamtime - Bubi Canal” 
              Stitch, April 13, 2016
              Fleur Pierets, “Bubi Canal Interview”
              Et Alors? Magazine, March 28, 2016
2015   Kiriakos Spirou, “The Bright, Magical Universe of Bubi Canal” 
              Yatzer, October 25, 2015
              Winter Mendelson, “Dive in to the magical realm of Bubi Canal” 
              Posture, July 6, 2015
              Mada Martinez, “A Beautiful Mystery”
              El Diario Montañes, February 20, 2015
              Jorge Clar, “Bubi Canal”
              Divo Magazine, February 2, 2015
              Ajia Hunter, “Bubi Canal - Magic Garden”
              The New York Photo Review, January 10, 2015 
              Alanna Martinez, “Welcome to Bubi Canal's World” 
              Observer, April 2, 2015
              Beatriz López Miguel, “Bubi Canal @ Munch Galley” 
              NEO2, March 2, 2015
              Nasta Voynovskaya, “Preview: Bubi Canal’s Magic Garden”
              Hi-Fructose Magazine, February 27, 2015
              Ramy Zabarah, “The Many Colors of Bubi Canal”
              Quiet Lunch Magazine, February 11, 2015
2014    Belen Prieto, “Dreams, Magic and Love” 
              METAL Magazine, July 5, 2014
              Simon Bainbridge, “Viva España”
              British Journal of Photography, July 2, 2014
              Carlo McCormick, “11 Books for Subculture Vultures” 
              Artnews, June 10, 2014
              Carmen Quijano, “Bubi Canal ve publicado un libro sobre su obra”
              El Mundo, July 1, 2014
2013    Kim Aran, “Bubi Canal”
              Blink Magazine, August 9, 2013
              Patricia Sainz, “Donde habita el arte”
              L-ink Magazine, June 11, 2013
              Katy MacLaughlin, “Spanish Artist Flock to the U.S.” 
              The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2013
              Jesse Dorris, “Bubi Canal Makes Art with Geometry” 
              Interior Design, February 13, 2013
              Richard Kalisher, “On View Bubi Canal”
              NY Centric Magazine, January 25, 2013
              Sofia Dos Santos, “Special Moment de Bubi Canal” 
              NEO2, January 22, 2013
2012   Veronica Santi, “Bubi Canal”
             Tunica Magazine, November 15, 2012
2011    Javier Díaz Guardiola, “Es vital que el pop sobreviva” 
              ABC, January 29, 2011
              Luis Horcajo, “A House is Not a Home Colorful”
              Tendencias, July 2, 2011
2010   Franco de Toledo, “Un mundo metafórico...” 
              21 Le Mag, July 16, 2010
              Beatriz Ramos, “Rojo, verde, amarillo, azul, rojo, verde...” 
              PullTheMetal, February 10, 2010
              Stephen Lucas, “La obra de Bubi Canal en La Fresh Gallery” 
              NEO2, January 4, 2010


Bubi Canal is a Spaniard-American artist based in New York who works across photography, video art, and sculpture. His primary focus is on photography, which allows him to incorporate elements from other disciplines into his practice. He combines performance, fashion, sculptural objects, and graphic design elements to build his own world for the camera. This world is often inhabited by characters and still lifes he has created by blending everything from American and Japanese pop culture to Cantabrian mythology to aspects of his own expansive imagination. 

Working intuitively in response to his environment and personal experiences, his projects each reflect the current moment in his life, like a journal. While the characters are constructions, the models are friends and family. He styles them as dreamlike beings from alternate realities using handmade costumes and everyday materials from his environment. He combines continuous light and flash to create bold and graphic staged scenes that underscore his dramatic themes of hybrid mythology, identity, and personal history. 

His aesthetic hovers between the real and fantastical, revealing his sense of wonder. His images are often created in natural locations from a bright palette of colorful costumes and geometrically shaped objects. These are made from playful materials and are often worn or held by his subjects. However, his subjects’ facial posture and expressions remain deliberate, as he allows them to communicate through their own spontaneous gestures. Ultimately, Canal’s work inspires us to create our own dream worlds where magical things could happen.