Published On: Wed, Sep 11th, 2019

Artist Mateo Blanco Honors Strong Women in Boca Raton Gallery Debut

Three Pieces on Display at Rosenbaum Contemporary Gallery

Boca Raton, FL  – Women who make history have always been part of artist Mateo Blanco’s life, helping shape his artistic perspective and serving as subjects for the work that gained him international acclaim.

Now, he is honoring some of those women through his debut at the Rosenbaum Contemporary Gallery.

Blanco, known for his use of unusual materials—everything from peanuts to sugar to cloth scraps—in celebrity portraits has three pieces on display.

First is a portrait of talk show host and actress Ellen DeGeneres made of 5,000 Colombian coffee beans. Also on display is a slatted image of superstar Madonna that changes as the viewer changes perspectives. Finally, Blanco created the sculpture “Hopi Girl,” the form of a young woman made of rope, which pays homage to the Native American tribe and evokes images from “Star Wars.”

The works are tied together through the strong women they represent.

“I have so much admiration for the strong women who change history,” Blanco said.

That theme has shaped Blanco’s life, too. Blanco studied under Débora Arango, the artist immortalized on Colombia’s 2,000 peso bill. She was known for her politically charged paintings of nude women that challenged Catholic values. Blanco was also a student ofArturo Estrada Hernández, most famous for his mural work, and a member of “Los Fridos,” a group of Frida Kahlo’s students ,and Lola Vélez, recognized as one of Diego Rivera’s favorite students and considered the first female muralist of Colombia. Additional studies include goldsmithing and jewelry in Medellin, Colombia, and a B.A. from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida

Much of Blanco’s other work, too, centers on notable women. Some of Blanco’s best-known pieces include a portrait of actress Jennifer Lawrence made of 10,000 peanuts and a portrait of musician Dolly Parton made of cloth.

The Rosenbaum Contemporary Gallery is featuring Blanco’s works for the first time in its Summer Selections, along with some of the most famous artists in history, Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder. The exhibit runs through December  and can be viewed Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Blanco’s art has been featured throughout Florida and the world. While he was born in Miami, his home is in Orlando.

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