“Hopefully, there’s enough passion and color and movement and edge and enough formal things … where the viewer can experience for a moment what it might be like to be in that space.” - Mateo Romero
Contemporary Pueblo painter Mateo Romero was born and raised in Berkeley, California. Although his cultural background is an urban one, through his father, Santiago Romero, and his connection to their Southern Keresan Cochiti people, this experience includes much of the Rio Grande Pueblo world as well. Mateo attended Dartmouth College and studied with acclaimed artists Ben Frank Moss and Varujan Boghosian.
With an MFA in printmaking from the University of New Mexico, Romero has exhibited internationally in Canada and in the United States. An award-winning artist, he is currently a Dubin Fellow in painting at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, NM, and paints in his studio in Santa Fe and lives in Pojoaque Pueblo with his wife and children.
Romero’s paintings reflect a pattern of evolution and change. “My imagery is powerful, imposing, juxtaposed with swirling gestural paint marks and drips.” Timeless, archaic elements of Pueblo culture are placed side by side with contemporary abstract expressionist palette knife and brushwork. There is the sense of a rhythmic, hypnotic, trancelike feeling which is referential to the metaphysical space of the Pueblo and the dance itself.