"Dreaming on Milky Way" 22 x 45 Mixed Media on Panel
Juan Manuel Cossio was born in Madrid, Spain in 1960. He received academic training in Art and History at the Complutense University of Madrid. From 1980, Cossio worked as a Copyist at the Museo del Prado, where he studied from close observation and reinterpreted classical works of art; studied under Spanish realist Antonio López García; and became a student of Manuel Franquelo, one of Spain’s leading hyperrealist painters from the New Realism movement of the 1960s.
Cossio’s principle tool for painting is an airbrush, which sprays the paint onto the canvas and allows for seamless blending of pigments. This blending allows Cossio to achieve high detail and precision found in his elaborate works. By using an airbrush instead of a standard paintbrush, Cossio changes the function of a tool originally designed to retouch photographs into the primary means of creating a photorealistic image. In each of his compositions, Cossio experiments with the human form and its ability to convey emotion in functional, minimalistic interiors. Many of his works echo those of the New Realism movement, conjuring an atmosphere in which the figure is derived from reality but the other elements are fabricated, obscure, utiliatarian yet unexpected. Cossio pares down the environment in which the figure is placed so as to direct all concentration on the figure.
Though Cossio works in a hyperrealist style, his scenes are set apart from the reality of day-to-day living. Cossio states, “I create images starting from a contradiction. I am a painter who does not want to paint reality. I want to interpret it with all the means that are at my reach.” His interpretation of reality is one of appreciation for the beauty, the emotion, and the paradoxes of everyday life. Cossio currently lives and works in Madrid and his work has been exhibited internationally in countries such as Spain, Italy, the UK, South Africa, Venezuela, and the US.