MICHELE MATTEI was born in Paris, France. She prepared do Normale Superieure and obtained a BA in literature and history. She was invited to study Political Sciences at the University of Chile.
She was recruited by Gamma, the premiere French photo agency, to open and head their first Latin American Bureau. A woman in a world of male journalism, Mattei traveled throughout Latin America covering the major political stories.
Her fair and accurate portrayals of a continent in upheaval soon attracted the heads of governments and she was awarded exclusive interviews with Presidents: Eduardo Frei (Chile), Salvador Allende (Chile), Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Juan Peron, Isabel Peron (Argentina),
Lopez Michelsen (Colombia).
Mattei moved to Los Angeles and founded Mega Productions providing photographs and copy to an international media network. Mattei initiated a new style of photojournalism for the world market by combining hard fact journalism with artistic visual representation. Mattei later selected to do assignments on the civil unrest in Central America, environmental troubles in Russia and global women’s issues. She covered the tumultuous presidential election that ended the civil war in El Salvador. Mattei documented the extinction of indigenous tribes
in Peru and Chile. She spent several months in China and Tibet documenting the dismantling of traditional ancient culture.
Mattei has as well organized major international advertising campaigns and in the entertainment industry supplied her years of interviews to tier-1 magazines such as Paris Match, Vogue International, GQ, Stern and Figaro Madame. Over the years, Mattei has gained interviews with the most distinguished artists of the century and she has photographed numerous including Jorge Luis Borges, Eugene Ionesco, Francis
Ford Coppola, Isabel Allende, Richard Gere, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch, T.C.Boyle, and Robert Rauschenberg.
Mattei chose to dedicate to her fine art photography. Mattei’s portraiture and fine art photography have been exhibited worldwide. She is represented by galleries in Europe and North and South America.
Mattei was awarded a solo exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC. for the celebration of their 25th anniversary from October 2012 – February 2013. Mattei was honored for her photographs of outstanding women who empowered and
inspired generations worldwide in politics, literature, medicine, finance, fashion, dance and entertainment throughout the last century. In the show entitled by the museum "Fabulous", Mattei's portraits included Louise Bourgeois, Betty Friedan, Agnes Martin, Dolores Huerta,
Sonia Rykiel, Helen Gurley Brown, Françoise Giroud. Muriel Siebert, Andrée Putman…
Following that achievement, Mattei developed a unique project at the Mental Institute of Thuir in France with the resident patients. She photographed an experimental cinema program entitled “Cinemad”, wherein the patients chose to participate in all aspects of movie making as a therapeutic aid to their illness. Her photographs were exhibited at the foremost French gallery “A Cent Metres du Centre du Monde”, in January 2013 and the series has been selected for the acclaimed "Visa Off", in Perpignan, France.
Mattei has received recognition during multiple exhibits including:
“El Salvador” at 72 market street sponsored by Medical Aid for El Salvador.
“Chilean Artists: fifteen years after the coup” organized by the Hollywood Women's Political
Committee. Photo exhibition presented by Isabel Allende.
“Portraits in Theater”; Art Center film studios, Hollywood.
“Hollywood Portraits”; Gallery "Les Arts" in Pasadena.
“The Butterflies series”; October 2008 at Lucy B Campbell Gallery, London.
Art Dubai; 21st-24th February, 2008.
“The Butterfly series"; 2008, Bangkok Thailand
“Style, Stigma and Stamen”; April 2009 at Lucy B Campbell Gallery, London.
Art Miami Dec 1-6, 2009 at TYFA Gallery
Art London; 8-12 October, 2009
Art London; 6-11 October, 2010
Timothy Yarger Gallery; January, 2010 “The Butterfly series”.
Los Angeles Art Show ; January 21-24 2010
Art Chicago - Art Miami – Decorative Antique Fair – London 2011
Art Los Angeles – Santa Monica Art Fair – 2012 with TYFA Gallery
National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. celebration of their 25th anniversary from
October 2012 – February 2013
Los Angeles Art Show 2013– A Cent Metres du Centre du Monde - Visa Off – 2013
Los Angeles Art Show - Palm Springs Fine Art Fair – Silicon Valley Contemporary - 2014