Born: Artesia, New Mexico 1950
"As a cultural activist/artist/ printmaker, I have dedicated my art to supporting and being part of a global movement for social change. My works have addressed many issues as it relates to local communities of color, social justice, and international struggles for liberation.
The turbulent times of the 70’s set the tone for my creative approach to creating a social art. The Chicano, (United Farm workers Union) African American, Middle East, Asian and Native American struggles for equality, peace and justice helped shape a consistent theme for my art. My development and introduction to silkscreen printing by mentors and Chicano artist, Rupert Garcia and Malaquias Montoya, guided my subsequent community and political poster involvement.
In 1997, I produced my first linocut after many years as primarily a poster maker while teaching art in the San Francisco County Jail’s Arts Program. My approach and influence with regards to the relief printing process has been the social realist tradition of Latin American artists, (Jose Guadalupe Posada, Leopoldo Mendez, American artist Elizabeth Catlett and Canadian artist Leonard Hutchinson, to name a few.
My focus has continued to be the figure or portrait as a means to tell a story, elaborating on the human condition. My relief work has included two series, one of mother and child. The theme was a synthesis of basic and primal elements of sustenance, survival and strength reflected by the bond between mother and child. The second series was of people carrying objects, or in the process of work. This carrying of things has been a metaphor for the heavy load on one’s shoulder through experiences of living. I have been an artist and cultural activist in the San Francisco community for over thirty years and a mentor to many young emerging artists. My early poster art is now part of the historical Chicano Poster Movement."
- Juan R. Fuentes