Paula Rosa



Paula Rosa Portrait.jpg

The Artist


Paula Rosa is a designer and visual artist living and working in Lisbon. She showed an early interest for the Visual Arts and Design, which proceeded naturally in her academic training. She graduated from University Lusófona in Equipment and Space Design and from Jean Piaget Institute in Design and Production's Management of Pedagogical Media.

Fascinated by the Visual Arts, from painting to film animation, she has held several solo exhibitions, in Portugal and in the U.S.A, and participated in group exhibitions all over the world. Her work is represented in private collections, museums and institutions in Portugal and abroad.

Combining the technical rigour with the inner chaos of inspiration, Paula Rosa sublimates in the emerging digital art, taken with no prejudice nor frontiers, through the most recent technologies. She divides her activity by an art made of brushes and the discipline of Design; a dualistic option that marks her work and its route.

Paula Rosa's painting merges the tangible medium of technology with the untangible magic of imagination and dreams. Her work transports us into surreal landscapes and solitary images that stir the emotions of anyone who has ever found themselves empty, lonely or in despair.
She fuses natural and mechanical constructions to explore new and recurring philosophical themes. Her images are thought-provoking and hit at the very core of emotion... in that place where dreams lie and lies torture and joy manages to creep through rocks like persistent little wild flowers.

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"Madonna on Rubble Throne" - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved


Deca Dances.jpg

"DecaDances" - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved


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"HAVOC "288" - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved


Terra Obscura: Who are you?

Paula Rosa: I was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1970. I’ve been drawing, painting and creating in general, in a variety of media, as long as I can remember. I’ve always been a very solitary, introspective and almost obsessively reflective person, owner of what I may describe as a very inquisitive, torturous and disquieted mind. These character traits may partially explain the fact that I’ve always felt a strong impulse to create things and to express myself in a variety of ways, grabbing whatever tools suit my intentions.

I’ve developed an early interest for the visual arts and design, which proceeded naturally in my academic training, but also for non-visual arts, such as music and literature, and also for some branches of knowledge, such as Philosophy and Psychology, which I keep avidly exploring.

Absorbing, Imagining, creating and producing artistic output is something I can only conceive as part of being a human. Art is so deep-rooted in our nature that we cannot dissociate from it, at risk of feeling incomplete, if not null.

For some years, I’ve been dividing my activity by painting, photographing, experimenting with film animation and the rigorous discipline of designing spaces and equipment. It’s a dualistic option that has certainly marked my work and its route.

Through my painting, specifically, I believe I’ve been searching for answers but specially trying to raise fundamental and urgent questions. It has become clear to me that painting turned out to be my preferable way to connect with my inner self, my most subliminal thoughts, my subconscious and simultaneously with the world around me. All my life, I’ve been engaged in a search for knowledge and I really think we are, in fact, the answers we seek.


Terra Obscura: Why is art important?

Paula Rosa: Art is not only important, it is essential. Those of us who repeatedly get deeply immersed in creative processes rarely stop and have the time to think about it but we can easily feel its benefits. Should be enough just to think that art has the cathartic function of purging the concerns, the fears, the anxieties and a variety of emotions and then the possibility to turn them into something higher - a sort of aesthetic value – capable to be communicated through an universal language, powerful enough to eliminate cultural, racial, educational and economical barriers.

I see it all as a magic process, a spectacular explosion of the imagination, which the result can produce, both in the author and in the viewers, a greater understanding of themselves, their feelings, and thus an expansion and regeneration of our self-awareness and consciousness. Isn’t that what Humanity has in fact been looking for since early times? We can then think of artists as relevant agents for the society, for our entire species and to the world in general.


Terra Obscura: What is your duty or mission as an artist?

Paula Rosa: Being labeled as “an artist” since an early age and not being strange at all to the debate over the role of artists in our present societies, I, however, don’t feel, not even for a moment, a Chargé de Mission, in charge of any special mission, obligation or duty, different from other people who are not involved in the artistic creation. I am what I am and I do what I do specially for the love of it, if not for a personal psychological need. On the other hand, I obviously don’t disregard the importance of the social role of the artists, which has dramatically changed throughout History, in the present times. Their proximity to the collective context and engagement in the social process is obviously important. We all know that, more or less consciously, an artist is some sort of radar that captures the concerns of the society, documents them and ends up playing an important role in the collective awareness and consciousness. That’s why art has almost always reflected the time in which an artist lives.

In this context, I may feel as that radar, just like anyone else capable to communicate their concerns by whatever means they choose. We are all radars, in fact, and what may vary is the opportunity to communicate and expose our thoughts and ideas to a wider or a restricted audience.


Terra Obscura: Tell me about your imagery.

Paula Rosa: Taking the concept of “imagery” out of the strict field of visual images and extending it to the field of perception, I believe I tend to recur more and more to the symbols, metaphors and allegories to express an idea. It’s normally a natural process, as I think it should be, and I never plan it and not even think of it. It just flows.

Our time appears to me as a time in which it is required to the artists to be ever more faithful and truthful to themselves, more and more original, at the same time that it makes perfect sense to appeal to the great ideals of our society. I may be moving somehow across these lines since I’m too aware of them to simply abstract and ignore them. Being truthful to themselves should be the main aim of artists and if there’s something I really want to preserve it is certainly this.

Our time also seems to be a time in which large capitalist societies and the development of science and technology over the matter, have gradually been reducing Man, himself, to matter – something that can not only be known but also manipulated. All these transformations have happened in a way that we, humans, no rarely seem to have forgotten important parts of ourselves: our epistemic, aesthetic and ethical dimensions. This has been a concern for me and I’ve the terrible habit of thinking about it. I believe though that it is through Art that Humankind is able to reaggregate all these fundamental aspects, to not lose track of what we really are.

Humans belong to a strange species, owner of an inquisitive mind, living in an exhausting condition by inhabiting a world of complex systems in permanent mysterious interactions. We’ve created a path and we keep leaving our marks on the universe. This idea is too scary and at the same time absolutely fascinating to simply be put aside and not be tempted to think of it.

Humankind, in general, the human condition and the human mind, in particular, have been at the centre of my interests and concerns, thus reflecting on my work, being recurrent themes in my painting.

No rarely, the visual imagery, points to timeless stories and absurd tenses, ranging from the ancestral concerns to the cataclysm of modern societies, on what seems to be the verge of a self-induced apocalypse. Dystopian or utopian vision? It’s all completely open to interpretation but specially for reflection, since it is a question and not a statement. In truth, it can only be like that since I believe that the future, as in any unfinished story, is nothing but a prominent question mark.

"The Interview" by Terra Obscura

Madonna On Rubble Throne.jpg
N¢s N¢madas.jpg
N¢s N¢madas.jpg

"Nos Nomados" - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved

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"HAVOC "210" - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved




  •  2021: "Women AND Artists!" - The ONE Museum -

  • 2020: O Fluxo e a Transitoriedade  (The flow and theTransience) - Oficinas de Formação e Animação Cultural, Aljustrel, Portugal.

  • 2018: Butterfly Defect  - Espaço Exibicionista Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • 2018: Retrospective – ESSE/IPS Instituto Politécnico, Setúbal, Portugal.

  • 2016: Nós-Nómadas  - Teatro-estúdio António Assunção, Almada, Portugal.

  • 2012: N’A Parede – Forúm Romeu Correia, Almada, Portugal.

  • 2010: Fictions of the Interlude – Manuel Carmo Foundation, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.

  • 2007: A Nova Media Digital na Arte – Museu da Água, Coimbra, Portugal.

  • 2006: Mouse It! – FCT Pavillion, Seixal, Portugal.

  • 2005: Surrealizar Por Aqui – Câmara lisboa Club, Lisbon, Portugal

  • 2004: Malfuctions – ESC. Seixal, Portugal




  • 2020: Dilema – Espaço Exibicionista Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • 2019: Merc'ART 2019, Lx Factory, Lisbon, Portugal

  • 2019: Dia D, Espaço Exibicionista Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • 2018: International Surrealism Now – P.O.R.O.S Museum, Condeixa, Coimbra, Portugal.

  • 2018: Merc'ART 2018, Lx Factory, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • 2018: Cidadão Exemplar, Oficina de Cultura, Almada, Portugal.

  • 2016: Surrealism- Zagreb, Paris, Lisbon, Coimbra, Recordatório Rainha Santa Isabel, Coimbra.

  • 2016: ARCOZ’ARTE, Casa das Artes de Arcos de Valdevez, Portugal.

  • 2016: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Teatro Baltazar Dias, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal.

  • 2016: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Cineteatro António Lamoso, Santa Maria da Feira, Portugal.

  • 2016: International Surrealism Now, Partícula Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

  • 2016: Art&Passion, Fellini Gallery, Berlin, Germany.

  • 2016: Luso-American Surrealism of the 21st Century, C.W. Depot Art Gallery, Mississipi, U.S.A.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Montreaux Art Gallery, Montreaux, Switzerland.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Casa do Sal, Castro Marim, Portugal.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Sala Gótica, Paços do Concelho, Barcelos, Portugal.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Palácio Vila Flor, Guimarães, Portugal.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Museu do Traje, Viana do Castelo, Portugal.

  • 2015: Espace Art Shop, Dorothys Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Sala da Cidade, Coimbra, Portugal.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Theatro Circo, Braga, Portugal.

  • 2015: Surrealism Now, Museu da Cidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal.

  • 2015: My Planet I Love You, Dorothys Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2015: International Surrealist Masters, Magicraftsman Studio, Washington, U.S.A.

  • 2015: Creation Contemporaine, Dorothys Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2015: Les Maîtres Du Noir Et Blanc, Dorothys Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2015: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Theatro Circo, Braga, Portugal.

  • 2014: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas, Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal.

  • 2014: International Surrealism Now, Lousã Palace, Lousã, Portugal.

  • 2014: International Surrealism Now, Medieval Palace of Ega, Condeixa-a-Nova, Portugal.

  • 2014: International Surrealism Now, Galeria Vieira Portuense, Porto, Portugal.

  • 2014: Surrealism of the 21st Century, LuminArte Gallery, Dallas, U.S.A.

  • 2014: Artistes de L‘imaginaire, Dorothys Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2014: Melting Pot, Dorothy's Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2014: International Surrealism Now, Casa Roque Gameiro, Amadora, Lisboa.

  • 2013: 21st Century Portuguese Surrealism, Fellini Gallery, Berlin.

  • 2013: Surrealismo Português do Século XXI, Casa de Cultura Jaime Lobo e Silva, Ericeira.

  • 2012: International Surrealism Now, Casa de Cultura de Setúbal.

  • 2012: International Surrealism Now, Museu Monográfico de Conímbriga.

  • 2012: Confrontations, Dorothy's Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2012: Héritages Surréalistes, Dorothy's Gallery, Paris, France.

  • 2012: Surrealismo Ibero-Ruso, Galeria Emma, Madrid, Spain.

  • 2012: FIARTE 2012, Centro Municipal de Cultura, Granada, Spain.

  • 2012: Surrealismo Português, Museu Moinho das Lapas, Cernache, Portugal.

  • 2012: Surrealismo Português, Quintal da Fonte, Ançã, Cantanhede, Portugal.

  • 2011: Surrealismo Português e Argentino, Recordatório Rainha Santa Isabel, Coimbra, Portugal.

  • 2011: A Evolução de Darwin, Casa Andresen, Botanic Garden, Porto.

  • 2010: Darwin's Evolution, European Foundation Centre, Brussels, Belgium.

  • 2010: La Evolución de Darwin, Parque De Las Ciencias, Granada, Spain.

  • 2009: La Evolución de Darwin, Museo de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain.

  • 2009: A Evolução de Darwin, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal.


"HAVOC 288" - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved


The terrible fact is that the vast majority of the public is completely unaware of the incredible work, the infinite number of hours, the mastery, the meticulousness, the patience, the determination, the intelligence that it takes for an artist to produce a work of such quality as Paula Rosa's.

Many people imagine that it is easy, so effortless, because "it's made with photoshop !" — how many times do we hear such nonsense! —, that it would be a kind of subterfuge, a trick that is facile and customary, that there would be no real needed talent behind it all. But the few contemporary artists of composite-photography don't care about all this, they KNOW and are determined to advance Art and photography whatever it costs them.

But they still need a real sensitivity, an immediately recognisable artistic expression, a clear guideline, a concept, because know-how is not enough for Art, it does not make Art; but Paula Rosa possesses it all to perfection and moreover plays it with a lot of sincerity, drive and humour. To achieve her paradigm, Paula does not stop there, however, she is one of the few artists who transgress barriers with striking pleasure and ease and adds to her photography, digital painting in which she excels just as much, giving her works that very unique aspect.
When I discovered Paula Rosa's wonderful work, I didn't wait a second before asking her to join, if she wished, the group of Permanent Artists of the ONE Museum, as I considered her Art work to be absolutely fundamental, indispensable and precious for the Museum, because it fully shares all the artistic values we want to promote.

I am all the more happy that I did not hesitate, since I also discovered in her a very friendly and handsome person.

Thank you so much Paula!

Thierry Gulian

Curator at The ONE Museum

"Framework" AP2 - Paula Rosa

Photography / Digital Painting

©Paula Rosa all rights reserved

Framework Artist Proof II.jpg


  • 2020: Revista Lusitânia – O rock e o Metal Português. ISBN 2184-7967 (digital version) 471315/20 (printed edition)

  • 2014: 70 Cavaquinhos 70 Artistas. Publisher: Associação Cultural e Museu Cavaquinho. ISBN: 978-989-20-5175-8

  • 2014: Terra Obscura, issue 3, interview. Magazine. Publisher: Terra Obscura Organisation, Spokane, WA, U.S.A..

  • 2011: Altered Images – New Visionaries in the 21st Century Photography. Author: Romany WG. Publisher: Carpet Bombing Culture, Great Britain. ISBN: 978-1-908211-00-2.

  • 2010: Imagine The Imagination – New Visions of Surrealism. Publisher: Negoist, Poland, in cooperation with Abnormals Gallery, Germany. ISBN: 978-83-927078-2-0

  • 2010: Visionary Art Yearbook 2010-2011. Edited by Otto Rapp. Publisher: Blurb.

  • 2010: Revista A, issue 1. Portfolio (pages 87 to 97). Publisher: Manuel Carmo Foundation, Lisbon-New York. ISBN 67/2010 DL: 309264/10.

  • 2009: DP- Digital Photographer magazine, issue 15. Article (page 33). ERC: 125381 DL: 273786/08.

  • 2009: DP- Digital Photographer magazine, issue 9. Highlight (pages 44-45). ERC: 125381 DL: 273786/08.

  • 2009: Público newspaper, issue 6890, year 19, P2. Article (pages 4-5). ICS: 114410 DL: 45458/91

  • 2009: Diário de Notícias newspaper, issue 51083, year145. Article (page 27). ISSN: 0870-1954 DL: 121052/98.

  • 2007: Jornal de Notícias newspaper, issue 162, year120. Article (page 34). ISSN: 0870-2020 DL: 121031/2004.

  • 2007: Boletim Municipal do Seixal, issue 431, year 15. Article (page 18). ISSN: 0871-3294 DL: 17113/87.


"Books & Press Features"

Framework Artist Proof II.jpg

A Word from the ONE Museum Curator