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 Art School 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.
Before coming to the United States, Carlos worked as an illustrator, poster artist and graphic designer for a Publicity Agency in Havana, where he created visual materials, presentations and architectural models for a wide variety of domestic and international companies, many of which earned awards at industry conferences (Alimexpo, Tecnotur, Feria de La Habana, etc). Here in the United States, he has exhibited his work in an extensive list of galleries and art competitions, while continuing to work in design and illustration. Most recently, Carlos was commissioned to create paintings, logos, and murals for various NYC restaurants such as Guantanamera, Havana-Alma de Cuba, Toloache, Agozar, Yerba Buena and Café Cortadito. Most recently, he completed a mural project for Hostos Community College.
He calls his style geometric realism. 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 live and religions, memories of Cuba, his life in the United States and his own creative perspective on the world around him.