Tamayo's Zapotec heritage is often cited as an early influence. In 1911, he was orphaned and moved to Mexico City to live with his aunt.
He enrolled at Escuela Nacional deArtes Plasticas in 1917 to study art. While studying, Tamayo experimented with and was influenced by Cubism, Impressionism, and Fauvism, among other popular art movements of the time, but with adistinctly Mexican feel.
After the Mexican Revolution, Tamayo devoted himself to creating an identity in his work, and with his paintings, Tamayo expressed what he believed was thetraditional Mexico, refusing to follow the more political trend that many of his contemporaries did, such as José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, Oswaldo Guayasamin, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Due tothis choice, he was seen by some as a "traitor" to the political cause, and he felt he could not freely express his art, so in 1926, he decided to leave Mexico and move to New York. Prior to leaving,he organized a one-man show of his work in Mexico City, where he was noticed for his individuality. Tamayo returned to Mexico in 1929 to have another solo show, this time being met with highpraise and media coverage.
Tamayo and Luis Remba were the first artists who created a new type of printed artwork called "mixografía". Mixografía consisted of artwork printed on paper, but with depthand texture. One of their most famous mixografía was titled Dos Personajes Atacados por Perros ("Two Characters Attacked by Dogs").
Tamayo also painted murals, some of which are displayedinside Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes opera house in Mexico City, such as Nacimiento de la nacionalidad ("Birth of the Nationality"), (1952).
 Outside Mexico
Rufino Tamayo started in hisearly days as a professional wrestler, at age 30 he stopped, and dedicated his life to painting portraits. From 1937 to 1949, Tamayo and his wife Olga lived in New York, becoming widely recognized, and...