Rafael Medina was a son of Trinidad Medina and a brother of JD Medina. He was known for his paintings and depiction of traditional Zia and pueblo dances. Medina attended the Albuquerque Indian School and the Santa Fe Indian School. He was a student of Velina Herrera, Jose Rey Toledo and Geronima Montoya. He had been given the Philbrook Award and his works are included in such collections as the Philbrook Art Center, the De Young Gallery, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Gallery in Portland and the Heard Museum in Phoenix.