Born in La Habana in 1914. Studied in the School of Art of San Alejandro in Havana, Cuba.
In the artist own words: "When I was young I wanted to be a writer; although I studied at San Alejandro, I never intended to take art seriously. The thirties was a decade of labor strikes and university closings; the economic situation was terrible by the time I went to Mexico in 1938. I was never awarded a scholarship in Cuba; I have never had material ambitions, and have been very independent. When the news came of Batista's coup d'etat in 1952, I was vacationing in Europe. I returned home, and dedicated myself full time to painting. It has been like that ever since. I have fun at what I do; the pleasure I get from painting is vital for me. I enjoy art like Mozart enjoyed his music. Some people are concerned over philosophic postulates, over universal chaos, over the atomic bomb; for me, painting is a celebration of form and color, and nothing more. I left Cuba absolutely disillusioned, perhaps because I had believed totally in the revolution. Between 1962 and 1967, the government obliterated me; I was neither harassed nor persecuted, simply ignored. Exile has affected the individual, not the artist; when I arrived in Puerto Rico, I felt as if I had reached a region of Cuba I had not known previously. In a way, I still feel uprooted, for I do not feel at home anywhere."