Ernesto Briel was born in Guanabacoa, Cuba in 1943. An artist with a particular interest in the theater, Briel was a painter, producer and theater set designer who also worked briefly as an actor. He studied painting at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes San Alejandro, and design at the Escuela Nacional de Diseño in Havana, and later photography, at the Parsons School of Design in New York. In 1969 he founded the Grupo de Arte Optico Cubano along with fellow artists Fornes, Serrano, and Morales, becoming the most representative and methodic artist of the genre. Feeling ostracized by the community regime due to his orientation he migrated to the US as part of a generation that left the island through the port of Mariel in the spring of 1980. Soon after his arrival he participated in the exhibit Three Cuban Painters at Middlesex County College in 1982 and in 1992, Jadite gallery of NY presented the exhibit Two Geometric Artists, along with Carmen Herrera, followed by a post humous solo show in 1994. His work is in the collections of the Jersey City Museum in New Jersey, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana and the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, Conn. Briel died in NYC in 1992.