Rumba, Art & Poetry with Carlos Mateu

Curated by:*

Carlos Mateu

Genre / Type of Show:*

Variety: Art Show / Music / Salsa Class




Four hours

Audience type:*




Special guests:

Román Díaz y su Ensamble & Juan Caballero.


About the Company / directxr or directxrs:*


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 Middle 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. He also worked for nine years at a Publicity Agency as a model maker, silk screen assistant, illustrator, and designer of fairs and exhibitions. This combination of studies and experiences served to develop and refine his technique and style, as well as to solidify his desire to make art a lifelong profession.


He defined his style as 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 had been teaching for different school programs, leading a portfolio prep for middle school students at the 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 artwork at Galleria360 in Florence, Museum of The City of New

York, WBGO 88.3 Jazz, Jewish Museum of NJ and at National Jazz Museum of Harlem.


Currently Carlos keeps painting, exhibiting his art, and teaching art and popular Cuban dances for various organizations in New York City.


Román Díaz Master percussionist, scholar, and composer. Román Díaz is regarded as a “living repository” of Afro Cuban music. As a member of the seminal rumba ensemble Yoruba Andabo and mentored by the great Pancho Quinto, he aided in the creation of the sound that has defined rumba since the 1980ʼs.

Juan Caballero Cabrera was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1994 he took his first steps into world photography on a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Soon after Caballero began studying with the Association of Photographers of Buenos Aires, and later worked as a photographer for the “Argentina Foundation to Aid Immigrants.” With this group he covered the First National party for refugees in Argentina and his photos were published in their magazine. It was in Argentina working with refugees from around the world that he first realized the powerful impact a photo has, effectively documenting a country’s social and political realities. In 1997 he returned to Cuba to study at the International Institute of Journalist José Martí.



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