David Rufo holds a Ph.D. in Teaching and Curriculum with a specialization in Art Education at Syracuse University. With nineteen years experience as a general elementary classroom teacher, Dr. Rufo’s main research interest is on the self-initiated creativity of children. In addition to being an educator, Dr. Rufo is also a visual artist and instructor at Syracuse University and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals on creativity in education. His writings may be found at syr.academia.edu/DavidRufo and his artwork at davidjohnrufo.com.
Rufo’s paintings explore visual oscillations and pattern structures. His work is informed by the hyper-kinetic shifts of the Op Art movement and psychedelic imagery that permeated the visual landscape of his childhood in the 1960s and 70s. Vivid hues with intricate concentric and spiral dot patterns atop bold fields of color dominate the compositions. Although the paintings seem to appropriate the OpArt tradition, when examined more closely, imperfections and underdrawings appear giving the works a degree of warmth, which offer viewers a personalized, rather than austere formulism. Rufo’s work has been described as ethereal, ritualistic, and therapeutic, with comparisons drawn to both mandalas and Tantric paintings from Rajasthan, India.