Joseph Guinta was born in Montreal on October 2, 1911.
Guinta’s Sicilian father wanted him to become a lawyer or a doctor, he was not to keen on his son becoming an artist. However, in 1925, when he was just 14, Joseph enrolled in night courses at the Monument National, and took drawing lessons given by Adrien Hébert and Johnny Johnston. Five years later, he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal alongside Félix Maillard and Joseph St-Charles. He also took courses with Edmond Dyonnet and furthered his studies at the Copley Society of Artists in Boston from 1935 to 1937.
Guinta first exhibited his works in 1931. During the 1930s, he exhibited his paintings at the Royal Canadian Academy and the Art Association of Montreal's Spring Exhibition. He held his first solo exhibition with Marc-Aurèle Fortin in 1936. Until the 1960s, Guinta created traditional-style portraits, still lifes, landscapes, urban scenes and nudes. In 1956, he embarked on a fact-finding and study trip to France and Italy, including Sicily, from which he brought back urban and countryside scenes.
When he moved to the abstract in 1958, his paintings became textured with dynamic, vivid, and intense tones. During that period, Guinta exhibited his works at the Zanettin Gallery in Quebec City. Guinta also took part in several group exhibitions, including the Coin des Arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and at the Quebec Pavilion for the 1970 World's Fair in Osaka, Japan . That same year, he participated in travelling exhibitions held in various galleries throughout Quebec . In 1972-73, he created his "Collages and Constructions", breaking away from his previous works in order to conceive his own plastic synthesis and develop the most innovative and accomplished aspects of his art.