Cristina Nuñez

Born in 1962, Cristina Nuñez is a self-taught artist-photographer whose work has been published and exhibited internationally. She is currently completing her PhD by publications at the College of Arts, University of Derby, on her practice and the SPEX method. She is currently living and working in Ticino, Switzerland.

Following a troubled adolescence with drugs, Cristina Nuñez has been taking self-portraits since 1988 as a form of self-therapy, to explore her personal and creative identity and to raise her self-esteem, especially in moments of crisis. In 2007 she started to put together her project SOMEONE TO LOVE, her autobiography in self-portraits, family pictures, video and text, which was shown at the Mois de la Photo in Montreal in 2011. Her autobiographic video SOMEONE TO LOVE obtained the Celeste Prize 2012 and her work But Beautiful, the Prix de la Critique 2013, Voies Off, Arles.

In 2005 Nuñez built THE SELF-PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE®, a dispositive to expore one’s own inner life using the self-portrait, with guidelines for an intuitive perception and choice of the works and to start one’s own self-portrait project. Since 2005 Nuñez teaches her self-portrait method in workshops and conferences at:

European Capital of Culture 2011 – Turku

Museum of Contemporary Photography, Cinisello Balsamo, Milan.

SKOL, Centre des Arts Actuels, Mois de la Photo de Montreal 2011

Casino of Luxemburg, Contemporary Art Center

The Private Space Gallery, Barcelona

Consarc Gallery, Chiasso, Switzerland

Maison de l’Image, Grenoble

Oslo Fotokunstskole

Forma, International Centre of Photography, Milan

Pathsala Photography Institute, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Luova gallery, Helsinki

MC2 gallery, Milan

MS galería, Madrid

H2O gallery, Barcelona, Barcelona

Brians 1 prison, Barcelona

Wad Ras prison, Barcelona

Lledoners prison, Barcelona

Quatre Camins prison, Barcelona

San Vittore prison, Milan

Bredtveit prison, Oslo.

University of Roehampton, London

Manchester Metropolitan University

University of Northampton (conference)

University of Luxemburg

New York University (conference)

University of Turku, Finland

University of Barcelona (conference)

University Complutense of Madrid (Masterclass)

University of Girona (conference)

University of Bicocca, Milan (conference)

Catholic University of Milan

University of Bologna

Turku Academy of Arts, Finland

Domus Academy of Fashion and Design, Milan

Tampere University Hospital, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Finland

ASL Mental Health Centre, Lucca, Italy

Impro Gentianes, AFIPAEIM, Grenoble.

Nou Barris Mental Health Day Hospital, Barcelona, for teenagers

Centro Maria Letizia Verga, for adolescents with onco-hematologic tumours

SERT, Public Service for Drug Addictions, Palermo

Association for the Unemployed, Turku

Housing Works, Women Health Centre, Brooklyn

Institute for the Arts in Psychotherapy, New York

Finnish Association of Photo-therapy, Turku, Finland

Ariele, psychotherapy association, Milan

Philo, school for psychological practices, Milan

Ispa, art-therapy institute, Barcelona

Institute of Family Therapy, Florence

Institute of Family Therapy, Bologna

Erich Fromm Institute, Bologna

Institute of Psychosomatic Phototherapy, Bologna

Sistema Counseling, Milan

Corso High School, Correggio, Italy

Kastu School, Turku

Raunistula School, Turku

Hansa shopping centre, Turku

Waldorf School, Milan

Public primary school, Gorgonzola, Italy

SDA Bocconi, leadership training, Milan

Marketing Forum, leadership training, Milan

Mida, leadership training, Milan

Watson Wyatt, leadership training, Milan

Future Concept Lab, Milan

Saatchi & Saatchi, leadership training, Milan

Hotel Diana Majestic, Milan

Cosmos gathering, Tuscany

Muksumanki, leadership training, Turku

Italfondiario, leadership training, Milan and Rome

Danone, leadership training, Milan

Banca del Mezzogiorno, leadership training, Milan

Spazio Labò, Bologna

Spazio Lambrate, Milan

Candiani Cultural Centre, Venice

Citilab, Cornellà, Spain

Public Library, Gorgonzola, Italy

Bottega Immagine, Milan

Social Photo Fest, Perugia

Sponge Arte Contemporanea, Pergola, Italy

Korean Phototherapy Association, Seoul.

Awards and grants

2015-16 – EEA Grants for the project “We Exist, self-portraits in Norwegian prisons”.

2015 – OSIC, Office for the Support of Cultural Initiative, Catalan Government, for her project “La Vie en Rose, the dialogue”.

2015 – La Caixa Obra Social, for her projectSelf-Portraits in Barcelona’s prison Quatre Camins.

2014 – OSIC, Office for the Support of Cultural Initiative, Catalan Government, for her project “Her/Story, Women Behind the Camera”

2013 – her video La Vie en Rose#2 has been selected for the Awards Ciutat de Palma.

2013 – EEA Grants Norwegian Embassy, “Cultural diversity and Cultural Exchange” for project Her/Story, Two Women Behind the Camera.

2013 – OSIC, Office for the Support of Cultural Initiative, Catalan Government, for her project La Vie en Rose and her exhibition But Beautiful at Sponge Arte Contemporanea.

2013 – Her work But Beautiful obtains the Prix de la Critique 2013, Festival Voies Off, Arles.

2013 – Nuñez obtains the prize Premio Ora, with the gallery Sponge Arte Contemporanea, in Pesaro.

2012 – La Caixa Obra Social, for her project Self-Portraits in Barcelona’s prison Lledoners

2012 – her video Someone to Love wins the Celeste Prize 2012.

2012 – OSIC, Office for the Support of Cultural Initiative, Catalan Government, for her exhibition Someone to Love at H2O gallery in Barcelona and Luova gallery in Helsinki and for her book But Beautiful – Higher Self.

2011 – CONCA, Council of the Arts and Culture of the Catalan Government, for her exhibition Someone to Love at the Mois de la Photo of Montreal 2011.

2010 – La Caixa Obra Social, for her project Self-Portraits in Barcelona’s prison Brians 1

2010 – Finalist and honourable mention at the Interim No.1 of the New York Photo Awards.

1996 – Mosaique, CNA Luxemburgo, for her project Heaven on Earth.

1994 –Fondazione Studio Marangoni, Florence, for her project Body & Soul.

One person exhibitions

2016 – Higher Self, Maif Social Club, Paris.

2015 – But Beautiful, Chobi Mela Festival, Dakha, Bangladesh.

2014 – Someone to Love, The Boiler Room, Oslo. 

2013 – But Beautiful, at Sponge Arte Contemporanea, Pergola, Italy.

2013 – La Vie en Rose and Someone to Love, video projection, Galería La Zúa, Festival Proyector, Madrid.

2013 – La Vie en Rose and Someone to Love, video and performance, Encontros da Imagem, Braga.

2013 – La Vie en Rose and Someone to Love, video and performance, Editions Limités, Galerie du 4 Septembre, Arles.

2013 – La Vie En Rose, video premiere and performance, Effearte Gallery, Milan.

2012 – Someone to Love,  Luova gallery, Helsinki

2012 – Someone to Love, H2O gallery, Barcelona

2012 – Someone to Love, MS Galería, Madrid

2011 – Someone to Love,  video preview, H2O gallery, Barcelona

2011 – Someone to Love, Skol Centre des Arts Actuels, Mois de la Photo de Montreal 2011.

2010 – Higher Self, The Private Space Gallery, Barcelona

2008 – I am a teenager, Polifemo, La Fabrica del Vapore, Milan (curator)

2008 – Homebirth, Public Library, Gorgonzola

2007 – Young Italian Gentle Men, Spazio Private Larusmiani, Milan

2000 – I am, Galeria Franca Speranza, Milan

1998 – Homebirth, La Lunanuova, Milan

1998 –To Hell and Back – Risiera di San Sabba, Trieste

1997 – To Hell and Back:

Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Biblioteca Nazionale, Turin

Museo Monumento al Deportato, Carpi

Palazzo Reale, Milan

Encontros de Fotografia, Coimbra, Portugal

1995 – Body & Soul, Fondazione Studio Marangoni, Florence

Selected group exhibitions

2015 – Money, Les Nuits Photographiques, Pavillon Carré de Baudoin, Paris.

2015 – Self-timer Stories, MUSAC, Contemporary Art Museum in León.

2014 – I AM, Memoirs of Addiction Recovery, Manchester Metropolitan University.

2014 – “2004-2014. Opere e progetti del Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea”, Triennale, Milan.

2014 – Her/Story, Women Behind the Camera, H2O Gallery, Barcelona.

2013 – video Someone to Love, Videomedeja Festival, Novi Sad, Serbia.

2013 – But Beautiful, projection at Voies Off Festival, Arles.

2013 – video Someone to Love and the book But Beautiful, The Flood Wall II, Berlin.

2012 – video Someone to Love, Celeste Prize 2012, Centrale Montemartini, Rome.

2012 – video Someone to Love, Social Photo Fest, Perugia.

2012 – video Someone to Love, Social Photo Fest, Piombino.

2012 – video Someone to Love, Les Nuits Photographiques, Rencontres d’Arles.

2012 – video Someone to Love, Les Nuits Photographiques, Paris.

2011 – 2000 & 11 Self-Portraits, Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki.

2011 – 2000 & 11 Self-Portraits, European Capital of Culture 2011, Turku. Peri Photography Centre.

2011 – Higher Self, “Second Lives: Jeux Masqués et Autres Je”, Casino of Luxemburg.

2010-11 – Grandi e Piccole, Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.

2010 – Io mi vedo così: Autoritratti Fotografici, Centro Italiano Fotografia d’Autore, Bibbiena.

2010 – Autoritratto al Femminile, Polifemo, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan.

2010- Foto d’Autrice, Galleria Bel Vedere, Milan.

2009- The Self-Portrait Experience, Festival FotoGrafia, Rome.

2008 – De L’Europe, CNA Luxemburg.

2006-2007 – Il Sole nelle Mani, Bariphotocamera.

2006 – Tales from a Globalized World, United Nations, New York.

2005 – Tales from a Globalized World, Krakow, Vienna, Dhaka.

2005 – Est-ce ainsi que les hommes vivent,  Jardins du Luxembourg, Paris.

2004 – Tales from a Globalized World, Zurich, Chiasso.

2003- Quotidiano al Femminile, Galleria del Credito Valtellinese, Milan.

2003 – Tales from a Globalized World, Geneva.

2002- The Spirit of Religion, Photocenter Skopelos.

1999- Papa, Maman, Chateau de Nyon.

1999- Philip Morris Gallery, Galeria Giò Marconi, Milan

1998 – Images du Monde Interieur, Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles.

1996-Il Ritratto, un’Evoluzione, Breracult, Milano, curated by Photology, Milan.

Personal books

2012 – But Beautiful, Le Caillou Bleu, Brussels.

2012 – Higher Self, Le Caillou Bleu, Brussels.

2010 – Someone to Love, The Private Space Books, Barcelona.

2006- Young Italian Gentle Men, Valentina Edizioni, Milan.

2000 – Io Sono (I am), Dianova, Milan.

1997 – All’Inferno e Ritorno (To Hell and Back), Art&, Udine, Italy.

Collective books

2015 – Money, Les Nuits Photographiques, Paris.

2015 – Self-Timer Stories, Felicitas Thun-Hohenstein, MUSAC.

2014 – L’Arte è utile, comunque bella, Adina Pugliese, Meta Edizioni, Italy.

2013 – Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age, Del Loewenthal, Routledge, London. 

2012 – Il corpo solitario. L’autoscatto nella fotografia contemporanea, Rubettino, Soveria Mannelli.

2011 – 2000&11 Self-Portraits, European Capital of Culture, Turku, Finland.

2011 – Lucidity, Inward Views, Mois de la Photo de Montreal.

2010 – Autofocus, Stefano Ferrari – Chiara Tartarini, Ed. Clueb, Bologna.

2008 – De L’Europe, CNA Luxembourg, Dudelange.

2007 – Il Sole nelle Mani, Bariphotocamera, Motta Editore, Milan.

2005- Est-ce ainsi que les hommes vivent, Editions du Chène, Paris.

2003- Tales from a Globalized World, Thames & Hudson, London.

2003- Quotidiano al Femminile, Peliti Associati, Rome.

2001 – The Spirit of Religion, Skopelos, Greece.

1999 – Paradise, ed. Steidl, Germany.

1997 – Europa, Encontros de Fotografia de Coimbra, Portugal.

1996 – Vita da Bambino, Art&, Udine, Italy.


Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

Centre Nationale de l’Audiovisuel, Dudelande, Luxembourg

Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Cinisello Balsamo.

SDC, Ministry of Forgeign Affairs, Switzerland.

Camera di Commercio di Bari.

H2O gallery, Barcelona.

The Private Space gallery, Barcelona.

Encontros de Fotografia, Coimbra, Portugal.

Sponge Arte Contemporanea, Pergola.

National Collection of Photography of Catalonia, MNAC, Barcelona

Student’s Thesis on The Self-Portrait Experience (soon to be published here!)

1. Adela Miencilova

De Monfort University, Leicester, UK.

MA photography

“The Self as a Photographic Metaphor in Mental Health” , 2010

2. Giuliana Lioce

Bologna Arts Academy, Italy.

COBASLID: Corsi Biennali di Secondo Livello ad Indirizzo Didattico – Educazione Artistica

“Autoritratto, tra Indice e Identità”, 2009

3. Giada Carraro

University of Bologna – Faculty of Humanities

MA in History of Art

“Attraverso l’obiettivo: il potere terapeutico della fotografia, tra arte e psicologia”, 2010

4. Alexandra Hoffman

Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California

Master Science in Photography

“Messages from the Unconscious: Self-Portrait Photography as a Discovery of Being”, 2009

5. Valentina Brivio

Catholic University of Milan

Faculty of Psychology – MA Clinic Psychology

“The body image of teenagers: the photographic self-portrait as definition of the self”, 2011

6. Carla Visone

University Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples.

Faculty of Sciences of Communication and Multimedia Productions

”Unknown to myself: photographic self-portraits by artists”, 2011

7. Federica Valvassori

University Ca’ Foscari, Venice

Faculty of Philosophy – Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage

First level Master in Communication and Non Verbal Languages : Psychomotricity, Music Therapy and Performance Languages

 “The educational process in the photographic self-portrait. Identity between research and transformation”, 2012.

8. Leena Koulu

Uiversity of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology

MBA Executive

“The self-portrait of a leader : new tools for personal coaching”, 2012.

9. Erica Pasinato

Academy of Arts, Venice

MA in Visual Arts.

“The photographic self-portrait”, 2010.

10. Ester Roig Luque

Istituto Daina Isard de Olesa de Montserrat

High school thesis.

“The Self-Portrait Experience” 2012.

11. Luciana Vasques Barbosa

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University – Faculty of Media and Communication

MA thesis : “Self-Portraiture and future : an examination of a photographer’s creative identity” 2011

12. Federica Nardese

University of Milan – Bicocca

Faculty of Sciences of Education

“Narrative skills : which abilities to develop to use the strategies of narrative, both in work and in life”. 

13. Erika Di Sano

University of L’Aquila, Italy

MA in Applied Psychology

“The Human Emotional Dimension: psychology of the self-portrait and The Self-Portrait Experience”  2011-2012

14. Elisa Scala

University La Sapienza, Rome

Faculty of Humanities and Philosophy

“Outside the darkroom: images that heal” , 2012-2013