MICHELE MATTEI was born in Paris, France. She prepared Normale Superieure and obtained a BA in literature and history. She was invited to study Political Sciences at the University of Chile.
She was quickly recruited by Gamma, a French photo agency, to open and head their first Latin American Bureau. A woman in a world of male journalism, she traveled throughout Latin America covering major political stories. Her fair and accurate portrayals of a continent in upheaval soon attracted the heads of governments and she was given exclusive interviews with Presidents: Eduardo Frei (Chile), Salvador Allende (Chile), Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Juan Peron, Isabel Peron (Argentina), Lopez Michelsen (Colombia). After moving to Los Angeles, she 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.
In the eighties, Mattei followed her love of art, journalism and photography. She 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 in 1992, that ended the civil war in El Salvador, documented the extinction of indigenous tribes in Peru and Chile. She spent 3 months in China and Tibet documenting the dismantling of traditional ancient culture.
Mattei has also been involved in major international advertising campaigns and in the entertainment industry supplying interviews to magazines such as Paris Match, Vogue International, GQ, Stern and Figaro Madame. Some of the many renowned artists she has interviewed and photographed include Jorge Luis Borges, Eugene Ionesco, Francis Ford Coppola, Isabel Allende, Richard Gere, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch, T.C.Boyle, and Robert Rauschenberg...
In the early 90’s, Mattei took a new artistic direction into fine art photography: her current series include: Butterflies: Image and Imago; Flowers: Style, Stigma and Stamen; Shells: Fibonacci by the Sea. Mattei’s portraiture and fine art has been exhibited worldwide. She is represented in Europe and the Americas. In the last ten years Mattei had photographed “Fabulous!” a series of portraits of extraordinary women whose life have empowered and inspired people worldwide. She had 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.
Michele developed a project at the Mental Institute of Thuir, in France. She photographed an experimental cinema program “Cinemad”, with patients who participate in all aspects of movie making as a therapeutic aid to their illness. Her photographs were exhibited at the gallery “A Cent Metres du Centre du Monde”, in January 2013 and have been selected for Visa Off, in Perpignan, France.