Omar Rayo (1928-2010) was born in Colombia, where he began his artistic career in 1947 as a newspaper and magazine illustrator. From 1948 to 1954, he exhibited his work throughout many Colombian cities. He spent the next four years throughout Latin America studying art. In 1959, he was awarded a grant from the OEA to work in Mexico, where he lived for one year. The following year he received a grant from Guggenheim and transferred to New York, where he lived until 1986. He established the Museo Rayo de Dibujo y Grabado Latinoamericano in Roldanillo, Colombia, and then inaugurated the project "Arte Vial" with other international artists. In 1996, he installed a metal sculpture measuring 8 meters in the city of Cali, Columbia and another, measuring 6 meters, in Sevilla, Spain.
He has received many awards and recognitions including the Order of Boyacá as Gran Oficial in 1994, the International Prize at the Sao Paulo Biennial in 1972, the Premio Especial de Grabado in the Second Inter American Biennial of Mexico, the Philadelphia Art Museum Award, Honorable Mention in the first Biennial of Quito, Acquisition Prize of the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences, and Special Prize at the first Bienal de Grabado Latinoamericano de San Juan de Puerto Rico, among others.
He has been considered a master of painting and intaglio, and participated in more than 200 individual and collective shows throughout Spain, Norway, Peru, Brazil, Italy, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Panama, Ecuador, Cuba, Hungary, Poland, Germany, Costa Rica, France, Japan and the United States.