José Ato was born in 1959 in Cieza (Murcia).
In 1970 he joined the Municipal Art Academy directed by Juan Solano, a painter and sculptor from Málaga based in Cieza. There he learned to draw from life, acquiring a solid background as a cartoonist. Later he began to paint in oil, and at that moment he felt his true vocation as a painter. A vocation that would never leave him.
In 1982 he exhibited for the first time in Cieza, and that same year he exhibited at the cultural center Casino de Elche. During this period he took part in several painting competitions, in which he would succeed, especially in the Holly Week poster competition in his area, allowing him to showcase his work in the municipal exhibition.
After many exhibitions in different Spanish provinces and having gained experience and improved his technique, he participated in the International Painting Competition Toledo Puche, with his work 'El puente de alhambre', that would be chosen as the winner and exhibited in the Siyasa museum of Cieza.
In 2007 he joined the group Hispacuarela, and that same year he participated in various exhibitions in Lleida, Puerto de Santa Maria and in several exhibitions in Montevideo (Uruguay), which would aid him in becoming an international artist with a good reputation.
Finally, in 2011 he presented in Madrid his collection entitled 'Desde el Sur', at the Cultural Center Puerta deToledo.