Carmen José (she/they) is an illustrator, educator and activist interested in questioning the reproduction of visual stereotypes, with focus on embodied processes. In her work she aims to facilitate spaces for dialogue and coming together.

Carmen José (1991 Spain) is an illustrator, educator and activist with a MA at the Kunsthochschule Kassel (Germany) in Visual Communication with focus on Illustration and editorial Design. In 2014 she initiate together with Kathi Seemann the project Papiercafé, a multifunctional collective space for Self-publishing & Café. She joined the independent publishing house Rotopol as co-publisher and author in 2016. A year later in 2017, she worked as part of the Aneducation team of documenta14 in Kassel and Athens (Greece). In October 2018 she moved to Rotterdam (Netherlands) for an artist residency at BAD Foundation and later on at NAC Foundation in the Wielewaal where she worked on a experimental research around critical thinking in visual education thanks to the research grant O&O from CBK Rotterdam. In July 2020 she initiated together with Kamiel Verschuren (NAC) the Growing Space in the Wielewaal neighbourhood of Rotterdam. A proposal for a social and cultural place from and for neighbours and artists in the form of a greenhouse to visit from outside 24/7 and keep safe distance for covid while redistributing cultural funding during times of lockdown. Since November 2020 she is a teacher and researcher in the Illustration and Social Practice departments at WDKA Art University in Rotterdam. She is part of the collective Feministas en Rotterdam.

Portrait credits: “Hermana mía” by Helena Mateos Cuadrado

Artist page at CBK Rotterdam  /  Illustrator page at Rotterdam Illustrators

Comissioned for

Bauhaus Dessau (GE), CIFAS (BE), AnEducation documenta14 (GE), Under The Mango Tree, Grimmwelt museum Kassel (GE), Rotopol (GE), Stimme Koop (GE), Matana (ES), Luiban (GE), Wikullil (GE), Fundación Mapfre (SP), Winfred Jenior (GE), Polisemia (SP), 360º Journal (GE), Kunsthochschule Kassel (GE), Siete Días Yecla (SP), Gascade (GE), Cúrate en salud (SP), COGAM (SP), Neue Galerie Museum Kassel (GE), Casa Felina (SP), Taller Digigráfico (SP)

Collaborated with

Publieke Werken Rotterdam (NL), Feminism Unlimited Kassel (GE), First Aid Kit (AT), AMPEL Magazin (CH), Ciudades Esqueleto (SP), Episkaia (SP), No brains left (GE), Dinamita Dimiuta (SP), Con dos colores (SP), El estafador (SP), Mironcillos wine (SP), Al Cuadrado (SP), Postales desde el Limbo (SP), Mi petit Madrid (SP), Small (SP), Amorcionario (SP), El eternauta (SP), Microrresidencias Sandwich Mixto (SP), El Pájaro Moderno (SP/CO)


  • 2023 Solo exhibition “Eine Blüte Luft”, Elisabeth Krankenhaus in Kassel, GE
  • 2021 Group exhibition, “Grote Kunstkalender”, Groot Handelsgebouw Rotterdam, NL
  • 2020 Group exhibition, “Kwark Okk!”, Märchenwache Schauenburg, GE
  • 2020 Group exhibition “South Explorer” with Future Field, Bornerveld 169 Rotterdam, NL
  • 2019 Open Studios, B.A.D. Residency, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2018 Group Exhibition, “Drawing words” Instituto Cervantes, Utrecht, NL
  • 2018 Group Exhibition, “We are all guests” B.A.D Foundation, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2018 Group Exhibition, “En femenino” Mulafest, Madrid, SP
  • 2018 Group Exhibition, “10 years Rotopol” B-Platform, Seoul, SK
  • 2018 Group Exhibition, “10 years Rotopol” Neurotitan, Berlin, GE
  • 2017 Group Exhibition, “Narrative Positionen #2” Südflügel, Kassel, GE
  • 2016 Solo Exhibition, “Hallo Carmen!”, Rotopol, Kassel, GE
  • 2016 Solo Exhibition, “Allí : Hier”, Papiercafé, Kassel, GE
  • 2015 Group Exhibition, “Interventionen” Regierungspräsidium, Kassel, GE
  • 2013 Group Exhibition, “Con dos colores”, Matadero Madrid, SP


  • 2020 Chander Haat, Kolkata, IN
  • 2020 Shantiniketan IN
  • 2019 NAC Wielewaal Guest House, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2018 Bauhaus Master House, Dessau, GE
  • 2018 BAD Foundation Rotterdam NL

Awards & Grants

  • 2021 “Stimulieringsfonds design research starting-up grant” for Quadrilaterals children book, NL
  • 2021 “Nomination for Woman of the year in Rotterdam in Arts and Culture” Vrouwendag Rotterdam, NL
  • 2020 “Gemeente subsidie” for the project Future Field, Bornerveld 169, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2020 “COVID support” for the project Growing Space, CBK, NAC & Charlois Speciaal, Rotterdam, NL
  • 2019 “O&O Research and development” for her project Lines of Movement, CBK Rotterdam, NL
  • 2018 “Bienal Miradas de Mujeres” for Argamasa, MAV Madrid, SP
  • 2018 “Hessischen Verlagspreis” for Rotopol, Land Hessen, GE
  • 2016 “Abschluss Stipendium” for her master project, University Kassel, GE
  • 2016 “Engagierte Stipendium” for her social engagement, University Kassel, GE
  • 2015 “Preis für Dickköpfigkeit” for the project Papiercafé, Unikat-Agentur, Kassel, GE
  • 2014 “Max und Moritz” for the best student Publication, “Triebwerk 6”, Erlangen, GE
  • 2014 “Studentischesprojektrat” for the project Papiercafé, AStA Uni Kassel, GE