Jose Maria Cano /   José María Cano Andrés

Spain 1959

Conceptual Art, Painting

Jose Maria Cano
José María Cano Andrés
May 13, 2017
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

José María Cano is a Madrid-born musician and visual artist known for paintings that are focused on current issues like human rights, prostitution, capitalism, and wars like the one in Iraq. But his art also includes events and persons from his personal life as the letters of divorce or images of his son. It is not strange to him to include characters from the financial world seen in a variety of renowned magazines, as well as the bulls, which is to some extent the homage to his Spanish roots. He combines diverse techniques that vary from oil to resin, canvas to paper, considering himself the alchemist, who paints what he feels at the moment.

Jose Maria Cano 2016 mujer museum más españa new
Jose Maria Cano – Why Rent When You Can Buy Series, installation view – Photo copyright of the artist

José María Cano’s Music and Art Beginnings

The artist became widely popular in the 1980s as a member of Mecano, the pop band formed by Cano and his brother Nacho, who were joined by singer Ana Torroja. Mecano became one of the most successful Spanish pop bands of all time, reaching over 25 million albums worldwide. Since the band separated in 1992, Cano has focused mostly on visual art as a painter. Although interested in drawing since an early age, he started his professional career as a visual artist in the beginning of 2000th. His debut show, commissioned by Ambra Medda in 2004, was attended by Mexican gallerist Ramis Barquet who commissioned his first commercial exhibition. José studied architecture at the Rafael Hidalgo de Caviedes academy, and later at the Artaquio academy.

Since the band separated in 1992, Cano has focused mostly on visual art as a painter

José María Cano mecano ana 2017 torroja real luna
José María Cano – Silvio Berlusconi , 2007 (Left) / Queen Elizabeth II, 2008 (Right) – Photo copyright of the artist

Diverse Themes in his Works

His most famous series is titled The Wall Street 100 from 2006 and are consisted of 100 large-scale portraits based on newspaper clippings taken from one of the leading international daily newspapers – Wall Street Journal. Considering people like Bill Gates, Milton Friedman, Barack Obama, Alan Greenspan and Silvio Berlusconi only from an economic viewpoint, he depicted them like prophets. In other pieces, Cano uses his own childhood as inspiration. These works show his desire to gesture towards the simplicity of childhood in his paintings. With echoes of Roy Lichtenstein and other famous pop artists, these works utilize images from the comics the artist enjoyed reading. On the other side, there are paintings that have a more spiritual note, as the paintings of apostles or the ones which include the moon.

There are paintings that have a more spiritual note

José María Cano más Paintings 2016
José María Cano – Paintings – Photo copyright of

Other Interesting Facts and Exhibitions

The Spanish artist is also known as the author and composer of the world-famous opera Luna from 1992 in which Placido Domingo and Renée Fleming took the lead roles. He’s also the author of the music anthem of the football club Real Madrid. His pieces have been shown in numerous galleries and museums around the world alongside the artworks of the legendary Picasso or Goya. José’s art has been part of collections in cities like London, Hanoi, Madrid, Beijing, Tokyo, Dallas, and in other parts of the world.

He lives and creates in Spain

Featured image: José María Cano – Portrait – Photo copyright of the artist
All images used for illustrative purposes only

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016Jose Maria Cano CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2016The Soul of MoneyDOX Centre of Contemporary Art, PragueGroup
2015Jose Maria CanoKaruizawa New Art Museum, Whitestone Foundation GallerySolo
2015LunaRiflemaker Contemporary Art, The Riflemaker GallerySolo
2014Guess What? Hardcore Contemporary Art's Truly a World TreasureMomat: The National Museum of Modern Arts, TokyoSolo
2014La cera que aun ardePlaza de toros Las Ventas, Madrid Madrid Solo
2013Arrivederci capitalismo!PAN (Pallazo delle Arti Napoli), Naples Solo
2013Economics in ArtMOCAK (Museum of Contemporary Art of Krakow), Krakow Solo
2013Dark Side of the MoonLin & Lin Gallery, Chia Chi Jason Wang TaipeiSolo
2013Jose-Maria Cano. PaintingsTianjin Exhibition Centre, TianjinSolo
2013WS100 in ChinaZhongshan art museumSolo
2012Divorce Papers and Expensive PostcardsKristy Stubbs Gallery, Dallas, Texas, USA Solo
2012Principles of CompositionMunichmodern-12, Dr Isabella Goebel Munich Solo
2011Charles Riva CollectionBrussels Solo
2011The Murdoch PrincipleCaprice Horn Gallerie, Berlin Solo
2011Orientale, 54th Venice BiennaleVenice Solo
2011Les Fleurs du Mal, Munichmodern-11, programmatic exhibition platform for contemporary artMunich Solo
2010La tauromaquia. Goya siglo XIX, Picasso siglo XX, Cano siglo XXI.Grabados de toros, MadridSolo
2010TauromaquiasFundacion Picasso, Malaga Solo
2010Viewing City—Shanghai Intl. Printmaking Exhibition 2010Shanghai Hongqiao Contemporary Art Museum, ShanghaiSolo
2009Madonna meets MaoStaatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Dresden, Germany Solo
2009La tauromaquiaRiflemaker, London Solo
2009God Sell the QueenSotheby's, London Solo
2009The Wall Street One HundredThe Dairy, London Solo
2008Welcome to CapitalismDOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague Solo
2008Mural for the Moscow World Fine Art FairMoscow Solo
2008Art Is a Waste of TimeArtists Anonymous Gallery, Berlin Solo
2008London CallingKristy Stubbs Gallery, Dallas Group
2008Heroes of Our TimeRegina Gallery, Moscow Solo
2007Materialismo-MatericoCAC Malaga, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malaga, Malaga Solo
2007Avatar of Sacred Discontent9 Hillgate, London Group
2007Captain ThunderAllsopp Contemporary, London Solo
2006Mural of the suffragist Clara CampoamorSpanish senate, MadridSolo
2006Materialismo MatericoProject B Gallery, Milano Solo
2006Jose-Maria Cano: PaintingsUrban Museum, Shanghai Solo
2006Performance at the Jason Rhoades MemorialMuseum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles Solo
2006WS 100Palacio de Sobrellano, Comillas, Spain Solo
2006Arte UrbanoFundacion Coca Cola, Arco 06, Madrid Solo
2006MasturbationAllsopp Contemporary, London Solo
2005Todos Somos DiferentesGaleria Ramis Barquet, Monterrey, Mexico Solo
200450 Shark TeethCraig Robin's Private Space, Design District, Miami Solo