The Power of Art

4th graders from P.S. 117Q in NYC explore the power of kindness. They reflect on their own ideas about art and interview Carlos Mateu, a painter, mural artist, poet, dancer, and teacher.   

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Special thanks to Ms. Perry, Mrs. Maraj, Carlos Mateu, Claudine DeSola, and Groundswell!

Produced and edited by Em Löwinger. Music by Adrian Moring.

About Carlos Mateu:
Carlos Mateu was born in 1970 in Havana, Cuba, and has resided in the United States since 1997.

He defines 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. 

His subject matter incorporates surrealism, symbolism and mysticism to reflect memories, dreams, his life in the United States and his own creative perspective on the world around him. 

Currently Carlos keeps painting, writing poetry (décimas), exhibiting his art, performing, and teaching art and popular Cuban dances for various organizations in New York City like Groundswell Community Mural and City Lore.

About Groundswell:
In 1996, a group of New York City artists, educators, and activists founded Groundswell with the belief that collaborative art-making combines personal expression with the strength of community activism—and produces unique and powerful outcomes.

Twenty years later, 500 murals have been completed by Groundswell, working with youth and teaching artists in collaboration with hundreds of community-based organizations, neighborhood groups, and government agencies throughout New York City. The collaborative process behind these compelling artworks demonstrate our enduring belief that art creates community and community creates change.

Our five hundred murals in all five boroughs are only the final product of comprehensive youth, community and artistic development initiatives. We strive to infuse these initiatives with elements of social justice and activism to amplify the individuals we interact with daily.