Romero’s exhibition is loosely based on the late philosopher and author Vine Deloria’s idea of neo-tribalism, using existing Indigenous ideologies with new symbols that replace pre-existing ones to create new meanings. The exhibit incorporates a series of historic Pueblo ideologies, primarily Pueblo dancer figures, juxtaposed with pop like imagery of a post-modern mainstream society. It is Romero’s intent to use these existing ethno-cultural structures to create a series of works speaking about the now. His work is presented in a non-didactic fashion, allowing the viewer to create the meaning in the text.
About the Artist: 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. He received an M.F.A. in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. Mateo is an award-winning artist who has exhibited internationally in Canada and in the United States. He is currently a Dubin Fellow in painting at the School of American Research in Santa Fe, N.M., and paints in his studio in Santa Fe and lives in Pojoaque Pueblo with his wife, Melissa, and their children, Erik, Povi, and Rain.