Madrid, Spain, 1979
Graduated in Art History from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, a researcher and professor specializing in the history of photography and image analysis, María Santoyo accumulates almost twenty five years of experience in the cultural sector, and more than fifteen dedicated to directing and management of exhibition projects and specialized teaching and dissemination, activities that she has carried out independently since 2014.
She has recently been appointed as the new Director of the international photography and visual arts festival PHotoESPAÑA. In 2021, she founded Curiosa, a consulting company specialized in the application of new narratives in the educational and corporate field. She has combined her position as CEO with independent curating of exhibitions and the direction of the International Master’s Degree in Photography at EFTI school (2017-2023). Until 2022, she has been a member of the Fundación Telefónica Digital Culture Council, a think tank in charge of advising and supporting the Foundation in its contents and strategies in the fields of culture, thought and knowledge. She is currently a fellow of the Aspen Institute Spain, a recognition granted to a limited number of representatives of the academic, business, scientific and public sectors aimed at promoting enlightened leadership among young people between the ages of 35 and 45 who are committed to the future of society.
As a curator, she is responsible for more than twenty exhibitions seen to date in over sixty venues of eight countries. Her latest project Color: knowledge of the invisible is currently on tour in Latin America (Venezuela, Ecuador, México, Perú) after its first presentation at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid. Between 2005 and 2010, she has coordinated projects for international institutions and experts such as the Aperture Foundation, Magnum Photos, Kathy Ryan or Trisha Ziff.
As a teacher, she has taught at the Higher Institute of Art, the Polytechnic University of Madrid, the European University, the Complutense University of Madrid, the University of Salamanca, NYU Madrid and EFTI. She is the author of several books specialized in photography and has collaborated with critical texts in various collective publications, in addition to advising international competitions such as Art for Change, Fotopres La Caixa, Descubrimientos PHotoESPAÑA or the Alliance Française International Photography Contest.
Since 2016, she has collaborated every year in projects by emerging creators that make hidden realities visible, a non-profit program that has contributed to promoting the careers of visual artists such as the Syrian Carole Alfarah or the Colombian Luis Carlos Tovar. She is also responsible for managing the Ragel Archive, a private collection with nearly 10,000 negatives from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.