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Femmes Fatales

  • Start

    09 November 2019
  • End

    02 December 2019
  • Artist

    Mateo Andrea
  • Gallery

    1159 Chino Roces Avenue, San Antonio Village, Makati City

The women in Mateo Andrea’s paintings display with them a sense of independence and boldness. The expressions in their faces oppose the subdued colors surrounding them; the women are neither silent nor guarded. They are rather playful, in contemplation, showing the side of the temptress.

Set in new figuration, Andrea’s works are charged with the presence of the complexity of the female character. Here, our focus is directed towards the subjects who occupy the center of the composition. Andrea gives weight to his personal attachment to women through his works. Here, they are depicted as how he had loved them, familiar and yet, at the same time, strange. What bewilders is the ability of these women images to confuse us with thoughts of both the beauty and the danger they could present. It would seem that every figure reels us in and prepares us for occupation, except, these thoughts would rest only inside the minds of those who do not know them.

Here, each canvas is filled with geometrical and odd elements (a pink skull, a pool, a lollipop, donuts, a brain, among others); things that do not necessarily have to make sense when we think of narratives usually presented by men when they do discuss about women. The evocation of lust, desire, and delight is presented here in ways that are somehow removed from the sexualization of the female form. Andrea’s depiction instead reverberates the dominance of women while being at peace with their own selves: gentle and confrontational at the same time.

In “Femmes Fatales”, Andrea illustrates the strength of the female body. However, the contemporary take is far from the usual depiction of women within the forms dictated by tradition; away from the representation of the female figure as something to be consumed, to be objectified. Here, Andrea makes us look beyond the stunning recognition of beauty that merges with character; the understated fact remains that the power of women can hold the world together. Hence, we are presented with the same level of seduction that arrested the hearts of men who were captured by the women who were merely living as they were. The novelist, J.D. Salinger, writes: “She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”

And isn’t it what makes these women strong and enchanting? The fact that artists throughout history can paint them over and over again and yet, never exactly knowing their perils.



Mateo Andrea was born in Buenos Aires days before the end of the Argentine military dictatorship. He eventually moved to Paris, France with his parents, the Dutch artist, Pat Andrea, and his mother, Argentine artist, Cristina Ruiz Guiñazu. As a teenager, Andrea explored different art forms, including graffiti, and was encouraged by his parents,  who had influenced his style and had fostered his talent as he started to exhibit works in different international art stages. In 2003, he attended the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris where he obtained his DNSAP Diploma under the supervision of Jean Michel Albérola and where he had developed a technique that he continues to use today, equally merging drawings and paintings on camvas. His first one-man exhibition at the Gallery Popy Arvani in Paris, France in 2008 was followed by many other exhibitions and presentations around the world and in different cities such as in France (Paris, Issy Les Moulineaux, Bourg La Reine, Saint Arnoult in Yvelines, Perpignan), Spain (Barcelona), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Greece (Athens), The Netherlands (The Hague), Belgium (Brussels, Tournai and Mons), Italy (Lido de Camaiore), The Philippines, and China (Shanghai). Andrea is part of the ALL 4 ART collective with his father, mother, and sister. His body of works ties New Figuration with abstraction and redefines how bodies take form in visual arts.