María Portilla

(Mexico City, 1988)

Painter and restorer; founder, director, and editor-in-chief of the first street paper in Mexico, Mi Valedor (2015-2020), an independent magazine sold by people experiencing homelessness and other situations of vulnerability in Mexico City, with 31 issues published and over 110,000 copies sold.

I studied Visual Arts (Painting) at Camberwell College of Arts, London, England (2009-2012) and a diploma course in Critical Thinking in Contemporary Art at Academia de San Carlos, Mexico City (2013).

I worked at José Sol and Rosalía Cuevas’ conservation workshop (2013-2021), restoring works, and cataloguing and making reports on a number of collections, including the Joy Lavill exhibition at the Museo Jardín Borda (2017), Cuernavaca, Morelos,  “100 years 100 artists,” Museo de la Ciudad, Mexico City (2017), amongst others

I am founder of the conservation and restoration workshop Floripondio where painting conservation and cleaning, frame restoration, gilding and silvering of pieces, and colour reintegration are offered.

I currently work as a painter, muralist and restorer.

Maria Portilla pintora


  • 2022: Bengala Gráfica (Viejo Vago Brujo), Mexico City  – Collective exhibition
  • 2022: Mariachi (KCGrad) Belgrade, Serbia – Individual exhibition.
  • 2021: MUJAM, Museo antigüo del Juguete (Toy Museum), Mexico City – Individual exhibition.
  • 2021: COMETA Gallery, Mexico City – Individual exhibition
  • 2020: LADRÓNgalería 3er Salón Abierto de Pintura
  • Ft. El ojo Peludo, No nada galería, La Trinidad, Luis Hampshire, Julio García Aguilar, Oaxaca, Mexico – Collective exhibition
  • 2019: Golden Aged (Iglesia Tudor) Mexico City – Collective exhibition
  • 2019: Balderas (Galería 123) Mexico City – Individual exhibition
  • 2019: Woman on The Edge of Time (Esto no es una Galería) Mexico City – Collective exhibition
  • 2018: Índigo Infinito (Terraza Monstruo) Mexico City – Individual exhibition 
  • 2017: Despertando (Tomás Alva Edison) Mexico City – Individual exhibition 
  • 2012: (Banco de México) Mexico City – Collective exhibition
  • 2010: (Casa Estudio Barragán) Mexico City, Mexico – Collective exhibition
  • 2010: Dreams (Shoreditch Town Hall) London, United Kingdom – Collective exhibition
  • 2010: (Byam Shaw School of Art) London, United Kingdom – Collective exhibition
  • 2009: (Galería Urbana) Mexico City, Mexico – Collective exhibition
  • 2009: Personajes (Galería Tereza Diaque) Mexico City – Individual exhibition
  • As director of Mi Valedor

  • 2019: INSP (International Network of Street Papers) Hanover, Germany – La Voz de la Calle Conference (podcast made by Mi Valedor vendors).
  • Best design award. Finalists in three other categories: best vendor contribution, best alliance, best cover.
  • A (School Of Visual Arts) New York, USA – Mi Valedor and street paper conference. Participated in Mochi-LA: Initiative organized by the art magazine Disonare, in which certain independent publications backpacked around the world, making stops at places like Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, bookstores, schools, etc.
  • 2018: INSP (International Network of Street Papers) Glasgow, Scotland – Conference on marketing and branding strategy for street papers.
  • Award for best cover and best online presence. Finalists in three other categories: best article, best design, best campaign.
  • 2017: Place Making Latino America. Mexico City – Conference on how to conduct urbanism through culture; Mi Valedor as an instrument of change.
  • 2017: INSP (International Network of Street Papers) Manchester, United Kingdom – Conferences on social media and communication of artistic projects
  • Award for best editorial design and best online presence.
  • 2015: INSP (International Network of Street Papers) Seattle, U.S.A  – “How to start a street paper launched on Crowd funding” Conference.
  • Award for best design.

    Other projects

  • Adelina, Stop-motion short, 2018. Prop design. Official selection of Shorts México, 2019; Morelia Film Festival, 2019; Official Selection, Cinelatino Tolouse, France 2020, among others.
  • Mexican National Fine Arts Institute (INBA) Unfoldings and Assemblages – 15th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, Mexico.  2016. Edited official catalog.
  • Maria Portilla. All rights reserved.