Colombian-born, Miami-raised, Mateo is a photo-based artist. Growing up amongst a predominantly Latin culture, observing the striking humanistic similarities within the city serve as a muse to create work that emphasizes the beauty found within life. Being drawn to the peculiar exploration of the human experience, Mateo uses the camera as a tool to navigate through conversations that develop through organic interactions between people and the environment. Focusing on the premise that process is more important than product, the main drive of the artist rests within establishing a relationship with his subjects so that they, through dialogue unravel a guarded trust and thus illuminate their true essence.
His work has been exhibited in MOCA, New World Gallery, Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation, Mindy Solomon Gallery and Coral Gables Museum. Mateo received his BFA from University of Florida through New World School of the Arts. He is currently doing a one-year residency at the Bakehouse Art Complex.
As humans, we are perpetually influenced by our surroundings, while finding ourselves amidst a constant conversation with nature and every word spoken is a mold for our decisions.
Using the camera as a tool, the artist dives into unconventional situations that allow him to investigate connections within organisms as these listen and respond to one another. Establishing a premise where conversation leads to an exchange of trust between observer and observed, Mateo’s subjects become vulnerable and thus project a solid comfort that is then captured through the lens.
Our essence is expressed through movement as we navigate through a field of energy manifesting our individual perception of reality. By presenting self-contradicting imagery, Mateo reveals hidden layers of information that lie between extremes within the spectrum of emotions.
Capturing this movement in juxtaposition with color, there is an evident geometric dialogue that evoke particular emotions and perpetuate the viewer to question the self. In transaction, an idea is planted in the viewer’s subconscious mind and later comes to fruition as the viewer walks away and continues their daily routine. It may manifest itself within a minute or a year from initial inception, and its form may never be distinguished. Nonetheless, a ripple effect is en-route.
The work is engulfed in the focus of a pivotal moment that exists between two states of mind, that of stability and a dynamism of movement. Within this moment, all possibilities are possible and every decision taken unravels a vortex of opportunities. Concentrating on capturing the essence of an experience and asking himself the relentless question, what makes humans human, serves as a catalyst for an ever-growing exploration.