Fuentes is a graduate of Tyler School of Art (BFA, magna cum laude). He moved to New York where his paintings and illustrations appeared in national ads and publications including The New York Times. Hired at NBC he created graphics and on-air promos for the network. He was also an actor who studied with Irene Moore and later at The Actors Studio. He appeared in New York plays, toured Russia and performed at The Moscow Art Theater..
Fuentes was hired at HBO and soon became a creative director. He began to direct and was signed with Robert Greenberg's company, R/GA Live. From R/GA, Fuentes formed Huge, his own production company with Screen Gems. He directed national campaigns for major brands and TV networks. He continued to paint, incorporating filmmaking influences into his work. Fuentes’ work is informed by a diverse mix of artists, actors and filmmakers as well as by advertising.
Paul's work was selected for Sotheby's "Ad Art Show" in New York and was also in the nationally juried show, Art In Politics at Touchstone Gallery in Washington D.C. His portrait of Hillary Clinton, My Heart New Opened, was chosen for Creative Quarterly Journal and his other Clinton portrait, Hillary Pulled, was published for a story in The Village Voice.
Working with celebrities led to an exploration of identity and the nature of fame. Fuentes’ political and editorial portraits do not attempt to make statements. Instead he tries to provoke thought through the use of gesture, expression, wardrobe and lighting, prompting viewers to create their own narratives and make their own decisions about the works. His celebrity portraits are based on a variety of references from theater and film to holy cards. People are depicted in dramatic poses and exaggerated costumes creating an obvious illusion. Switching out familiar contexts, history can become fiction and our perceptions of the famous are recreated in new personas suggesting that image, character and even our own identities are completely changeable.
As a director Fuentes has directed hundreds of commercials and promos as well as written & directed for brands including Sony, KMART, HBO, Arm & Hammer and HP. He has received CLIO awards, Art Directors Club awards, International Film and Television honors, a Belding Best of Show, gold and bronze awards from PROMAX and silver from the 2016 New York Festivals Awards. He is a member of The Directors Guild of America.