Mikhail Khokhlachev (Michael Cheval) was born in 1966 in Kotelnikovo, a small town in southern Russia. His grandfather was a professional painter and sculptor. After serving in the Soviet Army, Michael moved to Turkmenistan, to a city near the Iranian border. Eastern philosophy and the character of Central Asia shaped his style. In 1980, his family moved to Germany. Museums and castles, ancient streets and beautiful landscapes of southern Germany have definitively defined Michael's tastes. In 1994 Michael returned to Russia and worked in Moscow as a freelance artist and illustrator for various publishing houses. A new era for the artist began when he made the decision to immigrate to the United States in 1997. He returned to Western culture, which greatly inspired him in his youth.