Onandía was born in Santander (Cantabria), Spain in 1972 and studied Restoration at the School of Restoration and Conservation of the Cultural Patrimony of Madrid. Between 1997 and 1999, she worked with Sudanese artist Rashid Diab at the Taller Galería Medani in Madrid, Spain. In 1999, she founded her own engraving workshop, Absenta, in Madrid.

In 2000, she directed Cuba 513 Gallery in Madrid, and from 2003, she was in charge of the digital printing department (GICLÉE) at Bernal Estampa Artística. In addition to her important entrepreneurial activities, Onandía has had a successful career as a multitalented artist, including as a photographer, engraver, sculptor and painter.

Her artwork has been exhibited worldwide and is held in private collections in France, Sudan, Egypt, Cuba, China, Argentina, Germany, Spain, the USA, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, and other countries.





Wandering clouds

“When we observe ONANDIA’s works without having knowledge of the inherent hazards of contemporary art history from the standpoint of objective criticism:

  • Any search for common artistic meanings in her work is doomed to failure.
  • Any desire to recognize cultural archetypes of otherness is effaced.
  • Any effort to decipher iconic signs as secure referents disappears and gives way to the visual imaginary.

This is because her work is an existential innovation, and also because YO’s painting is a triphasic creation in the making that presents itself as the timeless subjectivity of intersecting intersigns. In fact, YO Onandia’s artistic journey is fundamentally structured in mixed conceptual diagrams, following her own vision of pictorial contrast parameters from scattered photographic views adopted as traces of a bygone time and meaningful referential testimonies of a elsewhere to redefine. These are spaces of outer presence that she harmonizes by injecting them with a new imaginative dimension… Indeed, her works are accomplished in perfect distancing from the references of previous stylistic classifications… because, when they are observed according to the codes of plural readings of conventional art, we discover that her research squarely interlocks the imaginary with the problematics of ephemeral memories…

Although this reading deals with the diffraction of surreal elements, which are skillfully gathered and sensually arranged in architectural superposition from ordinary refuse images with recognizable and familiar aspects at first glance. These simple inanimate objects, such as spiraling lost stairs, interiors of temples, abandoned homes, skies and dawns, dilapidated castles, disappear and are enveloped by masses of “ephemeral smoke-clouds” … go beyond classical surrealist gestures to invoke the intellect … and reinvent a different constructivist universe.
In fact, the authenticity of ONANDIA’s work lies in the essential synergy of post-modernity, which is open to the HUMAN.”

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Yo Onandía’s art transports the viewer to another place. It invites them on a hypnotic and captivating journey that progresses through doors, stairs, and mysterious spaces. Her style: pure, unique, authentic. Her serene gaze rests upon her entire body of work, while her ethereal clouds and mists traverse the open windows of her beautiful and enigmatic images.”

Mariavela SAVINO


Onandía‘s artworks encompass a variety of media, from photography to painting, printing or mixed media, which she cleverly employs and makes her own. Her images talk about the contrasts of life, of building materials and natural landscapes, of peace and storms, of the urban and the wild, and what I see outstanding is the refined way as she artistically manages the images and messages included in her art. Yolanda is a photographer, a painter, and a printer/engraver that construct her artworks as surrealist metaphors, whose beauty makes you to dream, to think and to wish!!!”


Playwright, writer and poet.

“(…) In her paintings, she moves between the sordidness of a concrete reality of an imposing architecture that orders the sense of the organized world, but at the same time disorganizes it by exposing its contradictions. They are small, yet essential details that create unease, as a way of showing how she fits into this world.

The presence of objects such as concrete blocks, tires, bars, shattered glass, clotheslines, hanging clothes, clothespins, alleys, porches, etc. in many of her paintings is not by chance. There is an intense dialogue between the static form and the dynamic movement between themes that brings to mind a kind of musicality, through the valorization of the backgrounds defining the spaces and the horizons breaking the boundaries in each of her works, like photosynthesis, the process of transforming light energy into chemical energy, where the synthesis is the light. However, this light is almost always scattered by the clouds that announce the volatile character through which life slides between the real and the dream…

Keep reading: Wilson Coelho’s article on Onandía’s Artwork…



“Onandía’s metaphysical landscapes flooded by immaterial clouds provoke an immediate state of awe and intense, thrilling surprises that declare beauty and depth everywhere”



The creation of Yo suggests to me an ethereal, subtle, sublime art. Where figurative elements are enveloped by impertinent clouds that enter and exit the frame. They erase boundaries, making it infinite. It’s difficult to determine the nature of the technique, hovering between the real and the abstract, flirting between the possible and the impossible. An art filled with magic, voices, and silences. Mysterious and magical, just like its author.”

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