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Mateo Romero (born December 9, 1966) is a Native American painter. He was born in Berkeley, California, and is a member of the Cochiti Pueblo tribe.



Romero's father, Santiago Romero was a Southern Keresan Cochiti artist.[1] His mother is Nellie Guth, a European-American.[2] His father's mother, Teresita Chavez Romero, was a traditional ceramicist, known for her seated clay figurines and functional jars or ollas.[3] Mateo's Indian name is He-tse-tewa or "War Shield." [3]

Art Career

Romero attended Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire and studied under Varujan Boghosian and Frank Moss.[1] He briefly attended the Institute of American Indian Arts. At the University Of New Mexico in Albuquerque, Romero earned his MFA Degree in printmaking.[1] 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.[1]

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.[3]. He moved towards mixed media and began working with historical photographs his "Dancers" series, which employs a technique he personally invented that incorporates asphalt into the surface.[3]

Today he not only a successful painter, but also a writer, curator, and educator.[3]


Romero lives in Pojoaque Pueblo with his wife, Melissa, and their three children, Rain, Povi, and Erik.[1]. His brother, Diego Romero is also a successful artist.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mateo Romero: 2008 Indian Market Poster Artist." Towa Artists (retrieved 17 Jan 09)
  2. ^ Clark, Garth. Free Spirit: The New Native American Potter. Hertogenbosch, Netherlands: Stedelijik Museum's, 2006: 102-123.
  3. ^ a b c d e Schaaf, Gregory. "Four Painters." Native Peoples Magazine. 2 Jan 2005 (retrieved 17 Jan 09)


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