Graphic Designer Paul Fuentes Re-Casts Ordinary Objects in Irregular Roles

For energetic artist Paul Fuentes, the graphic designer, photographer, drummer, and pianist born and raised in Mexico City, art should be thought-provoking and fun. For him, everyday objects are best turned on their head and reimagined in curious and colourful situations; the result is some eye-catching and often bizarre compositions, which are the hottest things to add to your insta-timeline if you’re bored of plain old coffee cups and cigarettes.

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Paul works as the editorial designer for a social magazine in Mexico City, and his fun and engaging art appeals to a broad base online – his creamy confections and odd household items have become an Instagram favourite. The photographs are set against, or rendered in, colourful block spaces, nodding to a strong influence from Pop Art surrealism.

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Paul likes to use a fun aesthetic to make light of the style and play with the genre. He comments, “I just want to make fun of Pop Art and consumerism in a colourfully aesthetic way,” and the result is always pleasantly surprising.

We spoke to Paul about the importance of humour in art, and where he gets his eclectic ideas from…

The Plus: Has pop art surrealism as a style always appealed to you?
Paul Fuentes:
I think in a way it has always been in me. I love the effect of mass media, consumerism, and manipulation.

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TP: Where do you get your inspiration from for each image?
PF:
Since I do everyday objects, my inspiration comes from the day to day. I need to have my senses open 24/7: to walk around the city, to have dinner in a restaurant… to live and be open, basically. Once I have one concept ready, I start looking for a second. My limit to work on at any one time is two.

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TP: What are the challenges of working with photography?
PF:
When you manipulate images they way I do, the challenges are the same ones you have when you make art. You try to imitate nature, or the opposite. My challenges in photography are recreating shadows, lights, colour, and temperature across two objects. Making them look both real and surreal at the same time.

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TP: Do you always aim to make people laugh with your images?
PF:
Yeah, I like when people smile at my work. I show them something they have seen a thousand times, but with a twist. It’s easy viewing.

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TP: Do you think today’s society is too obsessed with materialism?
PF:
For sure we are. We are filling the hole left by loneliness with materialism. That’s why we get bored so quickly with everything: it’s the modern selling model. Companies are always offering the future, so that you feel the pressure.

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TP: If you could spend the day with any artist, living or dead, who would it be?
PF:
I like the kind of artist that doesn’t care about anything and does whatever they want. We need more of that attitude this days, even I do sometimes. So I guess Kurt Cobain, from Nirvana: he was the real Idontgiveafuck artist.

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