Joseph Lorusso was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1966 and received his formal training at the American Academy of Art. He went on to receive his BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute. Born of Italian descent, Lorusso was exposed to art at an early age. Through several early trips to Italy, his parents introduced him to the works of the Italian Masters. Lorusso would look to these influences throughout his early artistic development and they are still evident in his work today.