José Lozano was born in 1959 in Los Angeles. In 1960, he moved with his mother to her birthplace of Juárez, México. There, he found many of the cultural touchstones that continue to influence his work today-bad Mexican cinema, fotonovelas, ghost stories, comic books, and musical genres such as bolero and ranchera. He returned to Southern California in 1967 where he attended Belvedere Elementary School in East Los Angeles at which his teachers encouraged him to draw and paint. He began creating revealing, yet not always flattering, works about his neighborhood and its residents-demonstration parties, quinceañeras, weddings, and baby showers. Later, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from California State University at Fullerton.
Lozano prefers to work in a series and focuses on particular themes and topics, such as Mexican wrestlers, paper dolls, Mexican movie imagery, clowns, lotería, and figures in midair. Most of his work is referred to as "morose," a trait of many artists that he prefers.