Fuentes is a graduate of Tyler School of Art (BFA, magna cum laude). He moved to New York where his paintings appeared in national ads and publications including The New York Times. Hired at NBC he created graphics and on-air promos. He was also an actor and appeared in several New York plays. HBO hired him and he soon became a creative director. After six years he was signed as a director with Robert Greenberg's company, R/GA Live. From R/GA Fuentes formed Huge, his own production company where he directed national campaigns and continued to paint incorporating filmmaking influences into his oils.
As a painter Fuentes is influenced by a diverse mix of artists and filmmakers as well as by advertising and pop culture. Sorolla, Sargent, Hopper, Caravaggio, Sherman, Brando, Coppola, Villeneuve and Chazelle are a few influences. Cinematographers like Toland, Wexler, Szigmund, Czapsky and Lubezki also inform his work.
In 2016 three paintings from his series, "Time In Purgatory" (Hillary Drama, No Fooling Around and Putin Me On) were selected for exhibition in the nationally juried show, Art In Politics (Touchstone Gallery, Washington D.C.). His portrait, Hillary Drama won the 2016 Creative Quarterly Journal competition and his other Clinton portrait (Hillary Pulled) was featured in The Village Voice (November, 2016).
He has received CLIO awards, Art Directors Club awards, International Film and Television honors, a Belding Best of Show, gold and bronze from PROMAX and silver from the 2016 New York Festivals Awards.
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 work.
My experience with TV networks, ad agencies and corporations has influenced by editorial work. Also working with celebrities led to an exploration of identity and the fleeting nature of fame. My (celebrity) portraits are based on a variety of references from theater 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 that can seem familiar and strange suggesting that image, character and even our own identities are completely changeable.