Rufino Tamayo was a Zapotecan Indian born in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He moved to Mexico City where he attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas "San Carlos." Tamayo was exposed to the cultural wealth of pre-Colombian Mexico when he worked as a draftsman at the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia. He lived in New York, then moved to Paris in 1949. Influenced by Picasso, he developed his visual language of man's unknown and spiritual circumstances.
While his contemporaries -Siqueiros, Rivera and Orozco- were advocating art with a message, often political, Tamayo's work focused on plastic forms integrated with a masterful use of colors and textures. Tamayo participated in the development of MixografiaŽ, a technique to create colored and textured three-dimensional print on handmade paper. He is one of the best known Latin American artists.