Jose Enrique Montes Hernandez (Salvadorian/Canadian, born in 1983) is most recognized for his use of diverse media, from black and white photography to spray paint and video. Montes was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. He and his family left their country in 1990, eventually settling in Montreal at the end of the 1990s.
Montes pursued his post-secondary education in Fine Arts at Altos de Chavón in Dominican Republic, a school affiliated with the prestigious Parsons New School of Design in New York. In 2002, Montes returned to Altos de Chavón to pursue studies in video art after completing a DEC in Photography at the Cegep du Vieux Montreal. He has lived in Quebec ever since his return. In his early work, Montes incorporated drawings with painting and photography to create multi-dimensional pieces. From 2005 to 2007, Montes had exhibitions in several galleries throughout Montreal and elsewhere.
In 2007, Montes taught photography at the College Mont Saint Louis. In 2008, he traveled across Central America and received a grant from the Conseil des arts et lettres du Quebec to make a 50 page book detailing 50 days spent on a budget of $7 per day. In 2009, he became the official photographer, videographer and personal confidant of Jean Leloup. The two artists joined forces in friendship and profession, collaborating on a multitude of projects. During this time, Montes created ties with other artists in the graffiti and street art scenes and was invited to many events in the Bronx, Puerto Rico, and Miami to document and maintain ties with world renown graffiti artists.