José Picayo was born in Havana, Cuba in 1959. He left Cuba in 1966, and moved to Puerto Rico, where he lived for 10 years. In 1975 he moved to Kent, Ohio to finish his high school studies, and in 1981, he moved to New York City where he received a BFA from Parson’s School of Design in 1983.

José started working professionally in 1987, working for such magazines as Vanity (Italian), Sassy, Taxi, and Connoiseur. His work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, L.A. Style, New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, NY Magazine, Elle Decor, HG, and Martha Stewart Living as well as other U.S. and European publications.
José has been a part of many group shows in New York, and has had 5 solo exhibitions at the Robin Rice Gallery.

In 1993, José returned to Cuba after 28 years to photograph in his home town. During the 1990’s he also taught photography at Parson’s School of Design and at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

José lives in New York City with his wife and three children.