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,his 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. Mateo is an award-winning artist who has exhibited internationally in Canada and in the United States. He briefly attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, and at the University Of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Romero earned his MFA Degree in printmaking. At the School of American Research, he furthered his painting techniques as a Dubin Fellow in 2002. In 2008, he was chosen to be the SWAIA Indian Market poster artist.
Mateo began painting narrative scenes providing social commentary on contemporary Pueblo life. Subject matter for his paintings falls into four categories: “Addictions,” “Indian Gaming,” “Bonnie and Clyde,” and “Voices at Wounded Knee,” according to writer Gregory Schaaf, PhD. He moved towards mixed media and began working with historical photographs his “Dancers” series, which often employs a technique he personally invented that incorporates asphalt into the surface.
Today, he is not only a successful painter, but also a writer, curator, and educator. He lives in Pojoaque with his wife Melissa and his four children.