Julio Barragan was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began studying art at age twelve creating reproductions of Renaissance art masters such as El Greco. Barragan traveled to Paris in the late 1940's and was influenced by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, and joined the "Twenty Painters and Sculptors" group. The group, active in Argentina between 1952 and 1963, exhibited works in a number of Abstract genres. Barragan's style of painting then shifted to Cubism, adopting a chiaroscuro tone that would become his trademark. The landscapes and city scapes that he painted in subsequent decades were marked by Cubist and Impressionist influences. These became his best known works.
Barragan's work was exhibited in most of the nations leading art galleries, including the Gutierrez y Guad, Sothebys, Wildenstein, and Witcomb galleries, as well as in the Eduardo Sivori Museum, among others.