19 March 2012

After being raised by wolves Mateo moved from San Francisco to Berlin in 2004. Since arriving in Europe his artwork has evolved to embrace the wealth of old materials that he discovers at flea markets and antique shops. Using discarded munitions crates, worn out tobacco tins, and forgotten love letters, he crafts a world that’s extraordinary and odd, but at the same time one that feels strangely familiar.

Mateo’s paintings are often like a snapshot of a moment in the everyday life of a monster. We’re presented with a scene which seems to imply a much larger story; one wherein we’re invited to imagine our own narrative. These snapshot moments are frequently peppered with intricate details, adding a sense of mystery and history to the scene. In fact one can’t ignore that the objects Mateo paints on have been altered by an unknown past, as evidenced by random door-pulls and hinges poking out from the sides of his paintings.

The end result is artwork which portrays delightfully unusual individuals who are surrounded by the patina of life; like a relic of a mundane dreamworld wherein monsters are normal, and humans are the weird ones.

Mateo continues to live and work in Berlin. He can usually be found painting in his new gallery and workspace called Skallywag Gallery. He is also co-owner of Zozoville Gallery and a new gallery/shop called Onkel Zozo.