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September 18, 2021 - October 29, 2021

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Art for the Soul Gallery hosted Pop Geometric: The Art of Carlos Mateu.


Pop Geometric: The Art of Carlos Mateu features the art of Afro-Cuban visual artist and professional dancer, Carlos Mateu and was curated by Ashley Zurc Pereira, guest curator and board member of Art for the Soul gallery. His paintings, which are inspired by his Afro Cuban background, his life in the United States and his own creative interpretation of his experience, fuse elements of cubism, realism, surrealism and mysticism. Mateu’s artwork is an invitation for all to find their own meanings when viewing his work.


Also on view was the installation, Literate Hands: Beading as an Act of Resilience, a collaboration between Magdalena Gómez, an award-winning performance poet, playwright, performer, Poet Laureate for Springfield MA, and Ashley Zurc Pereira, guest curator. The installation was inspired by and features the beaded jewelry of Lauren Johnson. 

During the opening reception, visitors were invited meet the artists. Cornell Coley, M.Ed. performed an interactive drumming session. At the closing reception, Carlos lead a Cuban Dance Workshop with visitors. Visitors learned about the rich culture of Cuban social dances, the origins of Palladium and Salsa styles, and explored the richness and depth of Cuban music and dances such as Son Montuno, Cha-cha-chá, Mambo, Rumba, Conga, Casino (a.k.a. Cuban Salsa), etc. 


Photos by Richard W. Bulda


CARLOS MATEU was born in 1970 in Havana, Cuba, and has resided in the United States since 1997. As a teenager he attended The Paulita Concepcion Vocational School of Art where he studied painting, engraving, sculpture, drawing and art history. He later studied mechanical drawing at the Fernando Aguado y Rico Technological Institute, and completed his formal art education at the renowned San Alejandro National Academy of Fine Arts. This combination of studies served to develop and refine his technique and style, as well as to solidify his desire to make art a lifelong profession.


He calls his style Pop Geometric. His paintings fuse elements of cubism with realism, using straight lines and perspective to create a geometric and three-dimensional effect, while subtly deforming the images. Intense colors of acrylic are applied in layers like silkscreen, creating clean and precise divisions between tones, textured further with oil pastel. His subject matter incorporates surrealism and mysticism to reflect the Afro Cuban life and religions, memories of Cuba, his life in the United States and his own creative perspective on the world around him.


Carlos was trained as an Art Teacher by Joan Mitchell Foundation. He have been teaching for different after school programs, leading a portfolio prep for middle school students at Museum of Art & Design, etc.


He was selected as one of the 60 Masters of Contemporary Art by Art Tour International Magazine in 2014, also as one of three Latin artists of the 2015 Hispanic Edition of Thompson's Unity Magazine., etc. Recently Carlos was showing his art work at Galleria360 in Florence, Museum of The City of New York, at WBGO 88.3 Jazz and at The Jewish Museum of NJ. Actually Carlos works as a teaching artist and Cuban dance instructor for various institutions in New York City.

Featured articles about this exhibit: 


NEPM Connecting Point 

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