Abrahams was born in Kingston, Jamaica and began his career in commercial art at the age of 17 as a cartoonist and an illustrator for The Daily Gleaner and the Jamaica Times.
In 1937, while on a working holiday in Jamaica, Augustus John, the iconic British artist, encouraged Abrahams to begin painting professionally. Abrahams taught himself to paint through self-study courses and manuals and by copying masterpieces from art books.
In 1944, during World War II Abrahams served in the Royal Air Force in England. By the mid-1950s he had found his calling as a painter of religious subjects.
The National Gallery of Jamaica said of his monumental series of 20 paintings of The Passion of Christ that “the devout sentiment of a true believer marked Abrahams as Jamaica and the Caribbean’s finest religious painter.”
He was awarded the Musgrave Gold Medal for his work by the Institute of Jamaica in 1987.
His final decades saw few new developments in his style and he often repeated or created variations on many of his earlier paintings. Abrahams died peacefully at his home in 2005 of cancer and a brain tumor.