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Maykel Vargas Mustelier was born in Havana, Cuba in 1977. As a young child he was exposed to the world of Cuban music through his family, musicians who likewise supported his growing aptitude and interest in music. As he grew, his interests expanded and he became involved in art and performance. Throughout his life in Cuba, he participated in many public art, music, and dance performances and festivals. When he moved to the United States in 2008, he became very interested in the visual arts and began to paint with oil for the first time. Through his exploration of this new medium and form of expression he discovered a passion and spiritual connection with the act of painting. This connection has helped Maykel to ground him in an foreign environment and stay connected with his roots and culture. Likewise for Maykel the act of painting is a deep meditation in which recognizable and abstract imagery appears to him from a base of painted abstract colors and shapes. While he is very motivated by his recollection of daily experiences in the streets of Havana, Maykel commonly draws much inspiration from his spirituality. His paintings are heavily influenced by symbolism stemming from Afro-Cuban religious mythology and practice.

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