We met Mateo in Buenos Aires about 4 years ago. I (Santiago) had the opportunity to contribute to one of his first projects which is still going “MOSTRO”, (the name hit me inmediatly, is slag for champ) a fanzine that shows skateboarding in a way that has never been shown on the national skateboard scene, handmade with very old and almost obsolete techniques. 

We leave to Barcelona shortly after meeting Mateo, but luckily time brought us back together In Barna where the idea of doing something together became strong, and this is the result.

Instagram: @clubdelprado         @mostroskatezine

We did not want to miss the opportunity to ask him some questions and to know a little more about his way of working, The result is pure, transparent, creative and different, just like him.

It all start little by little I think. Different things start to mixed. Skating, walking, taking pictures, roam the street, alone or accompanied, without much destiny, seeing people, buildings, sidewalks. After a while it began to take form, and began to be a search, a purpose for which skateboarding works as a means.

It is something that I enjoy doing while I do it and then I enjoy seeing what I did and what I can do with all that. And besides pleasure I think there’s also something else, an endless search, restlessness.

For example, I really like to see skate photos but sometimes I get bored to see them so loose, in a magazine, in an interview or an advertisement. I like when they have a thread, when a materiality is formed, whether or not palpable, when you notice that something goes through all the photos, that there is a meaning.

That's why I like publication as support. Photobooks or fanzine or as you want to call them. A concept can be developed in a publication. It is entirely dedicated to that concept, without interruptions or advertisements or conditions. Photography can be taken to another space, not the magazines, not exhibitions. the photos lose their individual value and become part of a group, a context in which they live. In my case, the context is skateboarding, and the visual path that I propose, somehow, is through skateboarding.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with nostalgia?

I don't know if I would call it nostalgia, although it has a bit of that. I think that today there is something about returning to ways and methods that are no longer used but combining them with new technologies and media. The encounter and the coexistence between analog and digital. Taking advantage of aesthetics or textures that offer obsolete or old technologies and also taking advantage of the speed and efficiency of modernity.
Experimentally photocopy graphic pieces, scan and modify them on the computer, printing a screen shot, digitize a negative and zoom in the image until it is pure noise, etc. There are a thousand ways and a thousand interesting results, I think it's good to take advantage of it.
You from SAR also have a very similar approach in this regard.

How do you choose the skaters with whom you like to work with ?

The truth is that I don't choose them. I don’t usually look for or sign skaters that I like and propose them to work with me. I go out with my friends and we produce together, I tell them my ideas and we discuss them, they also always contribute a lot.
Normally it comes up as something mutual and natural. I know someone, I like how he skates, he knows me and my work, and he opts for the idea of going to skate and to take pictures with me.
As the material I produce is only for my projects, no magazine notes or brand advertisements, I don't go out to skate or take pictures with people I don't know. My search with photography, and especially with skate photography, is not commercial at all, on the contrary, I don't get money doing it. I think if I would do it for a living, I wouldn't like it so much.

What was your first contact with photography?

I bought a super heavy sol101 Minolta from Mercado Libre (something like an Argentinian Ebay) in 2012 and started to shoot whith whatever I could get with little money. Before it was more experimental, I buried films for weeks somewhere or put them in bleach or in the oven for a while, to see what happened. Now I am more bored, I always shoot with the same film, I always develop the pictures the same way(laughs). But I control my results better so I’m able to focus on the content of the photos, rather than the technique. As in skateboarding, technique is not the most important thing but the idea that each person wants to communicate.

From there you can experiment from different approaches, such as printing methods, media, formats, visual experiences.

References, influences?

The truth is that I’m paying less and less attention to skate photography, compared to how much I used to. Sergej Vutuc and Renato Custodio inspire me a lot in skateboarding photography. I really like what Richard Hart does with Push Periodical too, or George Booth Cole who combines street skateboarding in a very nice way.
Although what motivates me most to take pictures lately are, for example, the works of Marquitos Sanabria and Gianfranco Vacani, who photograph more everyday photos, less planned but super strong. I feel that this kind of photos are the hardest for me, that's why I look and stop the most with.