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. The New Realism movement grew out of the avant-garde and incorporated elements of the real world in works of art in order to bring life and art closer together. The influence of this movement and its aesthetic is evident in Cossio’s works. 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.
Having exhibited a natural vocation early on in a life as an adept draughtsman and showing a keen visual sensibility for the pictorial, Juan Cossío went on to study Fine Art at the Complutense University of Madrid. Actively involved in the explosive Spanish art scene of the Eighties, Cossío's tireless research and experimentation into pushing the boundaries of pictorial techniques led him to what is now more commonly known as 'New Realism'. Relying on photography as his main means of support and using the timeless airbrush as his preferred tool, Cossío's work continues to evolve through openness to approach and his continual curiosity in employing whatever new techniques are at hand in order to achieve his unique contemporary aesthetics which look to the female nude as its main subject.
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