It was in June 2001 when Mateo first presented an exhibition at the Rusiñol Gallery. Since then a few years have gone by and now with his “Intimate structures” he presents his fourth exhibition in our gallery. Its welcome has been as warm as the first time and his work has again surprised while, at the same time, it has proven the fine work he has been doing over these past years.
In this sense, Mr. Ignasi Cabanas —Rusiñol Gallery’s director after thanking the numerous public assistance accompanying us— said that this exhibit shows the artist’s youth, but also his experience, his know-how… According to his words “Mateo displays the best he has done so far,” to which the artist added, “For the time being.” This last but clear demonstration of self-discipline and desire to progress in his work gave way to the critical commentary.
Josep M. Cadena began his comments by making an analysis of one of the paintings at the exhibition. It deals with the work “Don’t think it twice”, where a typewriter centers the lecture. Mr. Cadena felt quite identified with this painting and he reassured us that he still uses it (the typewriter) “I still write the old way”. Over the typewriter we may appreciate a spotlight illuminating it. “It is an electric light but is actually a metaphor”, and Cadena continued “It is I, he, you and the typewriter acts as a way to convey our thoughts. Mateo’s insides look outdoors.
“His paintings are like a journey through life”. “There are newspapers representing what happens outside, there are references to food, drink, travels and there are chess games (…). Situations where everything has its natural presence. He did not want to forget either both the flyers and triptychs the artist often works with”. Mr. Josep M. Cadena said that all these are closely linked to the subject of communication because sometimes you cannot say everything in one single painting and these compositions help to complete the final message.
Very interesting was the parallel Mateo made between primitive art and his work. He acknowledged to be a great fan of the art those prehistoric men made and explained that they basically painted with a magical purpose in mind, as they expected their paintings to become real, and he added that this was precisely his own purpose for this works. He also indicated that in those prehistoric times they painted inside dark caves in and said that although he does not paint inside a cave he does work with very little light, which allows his paintings once outside his studio to acquire a stronger luminal force.