Mateo Hevezi was born on September 9, 1966, in Indiana USA, a short drive from
the city of Chicago. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Always on the move, he has never been in one spot very long … a true nomad in every
sense. In America, he has lived in 12 of the 49 states, and in seven Asian countries
through his adult years. Hawaii does not belong to America, it was stolen, so he says.
Photography became his career profession in 1990 while assigned as a U.S. Marine Corps
He has studied formally at Syracuse University, New York, and graduated from the
Photojournalism Program in 2000, but holds no degree of any kind. He believes in a
philosophy promoting the basic principle that nobody needs a piece of paper to validate
artistic ability or high contribution to human society … and, that fantastic education in art
can be found in great quantity outside formal academic institutions.
His mentors and inspiration form a long list of talented photographers, editors and
artists, including: Eddie Adams, Nick Ut, David Longstreath, Rene Reyna, Steve Nelson,
Hartman Slate, Yoshida Seidoh, Rick Rickman, Cesar Naranjo, J Ford Huffman, Andrew Meyers,
Bill Auth, Ami Vitale, Apichart Weerawong, Kyoichi Sawada, David Guttenfelder, Louis Sinco,
Rick Loomis, Torin Boyd, Chip Maury, Ken Kobre, David Sutherland, Carolyn Cole,
Paula Bronstien, Catherine Le Roy, David Douglas Duncan, and many many others.
When people ask about his style, the answer always is “people & nature,” his
two favorite subjects.
Past exhibits include:
2015 – AGNOSCO-Spirits Among Us, Yokosuka, Japan (solo)
2014 – AGNOSCO-Spirits Among Us, Kamakura Japan (solo)
2014 – AGNOSCO-Spirits Among Us, Tokyo (solo)
2009 – War Photography Exhibit, Houston, Texas (group)
2005 – Aqua Angels, Oceanside, California (group)
2003 – Mission to Micronesia, Koza, Okinawa-Ken (solo)
2002 – My Visual Opinion, Koza, Okinawa-Ken (solo)
2000 – Laila Ali, Syracuse, New York (group)
Outside photography, Mateo is a father of two wonderful sons; he is a stubborn lobbyist
to American leaders — such as the president and members holding office in the halls of
congress — to protect and enforce laws to care for disabled military veterans after
service; he also enjoys writing, botany, fishing, music and cooking.
Some ask about his origin, because the name “Mateo” is most associated with the
Spaniards or Italians. He was married to the former Adriana Arcos-Aldas, of Quito,
Ecuador, for many years … hence the Spanish influence of his name. Only when he was in
some trouble would Adriana call him by his birth name, “Matthew.” His family
ethnic origins come from tribes in North Poland and the alpine region of Transylvania.
“Mateo” is also much easier for the Japanese mouth to pronounce; in Japanese,
his name means “wait” … a frequent activity of the photographer using a film
medium. Mateo is known to his close friends in Japan as, “Chotto-Mateo,” which
translates to, “wait a bit longer.”
Mateo shoots majority of his photographs on film via Nikon FM2 bodies equipped with 50mm
and 24mm lenses, typically.
Another of his passions is teaching. Mateo is in the process of opening his own private
teaching studio/gallery in Kanagawa-Ken, where he will accept serious photo hobbyists for
advanced private instruction.
Mateo is the former owner of Bella Pacifica Galleries, which he opened in 2005 at the
beach town, Oceanside, California. The gallery closed shortly after opening when Mateo
accepted an editor position with Gannet News Corporation in the Washington, D.C. region.
Mateo now spends his time making photographs — and writing for his first book,
“Shot by a Marine” — at locations near his home in Kanagawa-Ken and in
Bangkok, Thailand, where he prints most of his work.
His stint in the military ended prematurely in 2005 following a life-altering brain
injury resulting from Mefloquine, a neuro-toxic drug which he was issued by the military
to prevent malaria while deployed overseas photographing his Marine Cops unit.
Mateo is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign War military fraternity, as well as the
USMC Combat Correspondents Association. He is a former member of the National Press
Photographers Association and on occasion partipates as a member of various small
photography, art and veterans groups, in America, Australia and Asia.
In the future he plans to make exhibitions for his cell-phone photography project, as
well as his collection of photos made at Egyptian-Aboriginal archeology sites in
Mateo is an independent artist. He maintains no political or religious affiliations