Photo By: Joe Ramos
As a cultural activist/artist/printmaker, Juan Fuentes has dedicated his career to being part of a global movement for social change. His works address issues relating to local communities of color, social justice, and international struggles for liberation.
The turbulent times of the 70’s set the tone for Fuentes' approach to creating social art. The Chicano, African American, Middle Eastern, Asian and Native American struggles for equality, peace and justice helped shape the themes that recur in his art.
His development and introduction to silkscreen printing by mentors such as Rupert Garcia and Malaquias Montoya guided his subsequent community and political poster involvement.
Fuentes' relief printing process follows closely the social realist tradition of Latin American artists such as Jose Guadalupe Posada and Leopoldo Mendez. His personal focus has been on using the figure or portrait as a means to tell a story, elaborating on the human condition.
In 2007, after 10 years as Director of Mission Grafica at Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, Fuentes resigned and created Pajaro Editions, a printmaking studio. Pajaro Editions participated in the “Art of Democracy”, a national coalition of artists exhibiting works exploring the dire state of American politics in the fall of 2008.