After completing elementary and High school, Mayte Teresa Mendez Cabo studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Madrid. Later she graduated from the Fine Arts Faculty of San Carlos in Valencia where her qualities as a painter were rapidly recognized. Mayte, as she prefers to be known, is currently the Professor of Arts at the Gil y Carrasco Institute in Ponferrada.
Despite a life charged with all the responsibilities of a professional teacher, and preoccupations with her students, she has always managed to balance these with her passion – her work as a painter – as well as a busy family life.
Success came early. In 1976 she was awarded second prize at the Exhibition of Fine Arts in Valencia. She was twenty two. From then until 2012, she has held exhibitions every year. Her shows have been seen in university faculties, cultural institutions, city councils, as well as in public and private collections all across Spain.
Some critics have detected a link with Impressionism or Fauvism, or suggested the influence of Van Gogh and Cezanne. But most agree that Mayte’s highly individual use of colour is entirely unique to her.
Cabo’s distinctive use of colour – particularly a vivid Mediterranean blue – seems to suggest the search for a paradise, lost since the dawn of time, to which she yearns to return.
In her later work there seems to be something of a reorientation of style, one that recalls the countryside of Bierzo, where she grew up. Here, the colours are sometimes more sombre, reflecting a some what harsher landscape which she dresses in the textured tones of autumn and spring. Her paintings are a virtuoso display of blues and greens with complements of fuchsia, yellow or crimson – colours which are rarely harmoniously combined. Particularly interesting, is Mayte’s ability to detect colours in shadows or pools of light which shows a technical competence few can match. The result is a brilliant, multicoloured explosion.