Born in Hollywood 1982 and raised in the urban sprawls of Los Angeles, Julio’s artistic aesthetic was shaped early on by the platinum light and expansive concrete horizons of southern California. Often depicting lone figures within the context of a landscape, Reyes’ chooses his subjects carefully. His works focus on intimate dramas, revealing brief moments of unnoticed grandeur, tender souls grappling with the pressures of modern life. These sensitive portrayals are the result of careful observation, intimate knowledge of his subjects, and are executed with finesse and virtuosity. His landscapes and still lives are imbued with implied narrative and hidden meaning, and a highly personal symbolic language born of Reyes’ experience growing up in the Western United States, as the son of immigrant parents.
At the age of 28, Julio won Best in Show, in the 2010 ARC Annual Salon Competition - the Art Renewal Center’s top honor. In 2011, Reyes had his debut solo exhibition at Arcadia Gallery in New York. The following year he won the prestigious, William F. Draper Grand Prize at the Portrait Society of America’s 2012 Annual Portrait Competition — making him one of only two artist to have won the highest honor at both major American art competitions. Reyes earned his BFA in Painting, Drawing and Sculpture at the Laguna College of Art and Design in 2005. His work has been featured in dozens of books and magazines, exhibited in multiple countries and museums, is collected all over the world, and has been awarded the highest accolades given by the Portrait Society of America, the Art Renewal Center, the California Art Club, and more. He recently relocated to Texas with artist and wife Candice Bohannon, where they welcomed their first child, and are offering workshops for the first time. He is represented by Arcadia Contemporary.
"The most meaningful sources of inspiration in my art are the people, places, and things I know best. As a child, my imagination was fueled by family stories of tremendous adversity, sorrow, perseverance, and the incredible deeds of those who journeyed far to become American citizens. As such, I have always been moved by the human capacity to love, dream, and persevere, with great courage and sincerity, in spite of what can seem like a vast and un-sympathetic Nature. To a cynical art world that may sound silly, but to me it is one of the miracles, and beautiful mysteries of life." - J.R.