Abel Perez Mainegra lived in the colonial city of Trinidad, Cuba. He was born in a nearby town of Condado in about 1929. He said that his father was French, from the border region between France and Spain. In 1986 Abel was working as a photographic technician for a restoration team. “One day I saw a rustic little house with its thatched roof made of palm leaves, which impressed me very much. I decided to draw it and I made a good impression with my drawing. From that time forth… I devoted myself to painting.”
An entirely self-taught painter, Abelito Perez Mainegra painted scenes of the history of his historic town of Trinidad, and of the Cuban nation. He was also known for portraits of historical and religious figures, such as Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Jose Marti, George W. Bush and Jesus Christ. “My inspiration comes from my dreams and the things I know. I am a devout Christian. I respect the Santeria because there are many santeros… Only God knows how to unravel that mystery.”
His work has been exhibited in Barcelona, Mexico, New York and Philadelphia, as well as in his native Cuba. We learned from his family that Abel passed away in 2011.