A native of Mexico Ramírez moved to the USA in 1925. His is a common story; he came here to try to support his family back home. While here he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He spent the rest of his life in various institutions. Some of his pieces are vast in scale, he pieced them together on the floor of his hospital room.
His story, in addition to being the story of an immigrant, is also one that shows how much someone with a mental disorder can offer society. Many critics and scholars consider him one of the greatest and most innovative artists of the 20th Century.