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Spotlight: Mario Fuentes Captures the Contribution of Immigrants with Seeds

By David Schonauer   Monday June 25, 2018


Guava, zucchini, lettuce, cauliflower, and barley.

Chard, cherimoya, coriander and maize.

These foods, notes Ecuadoran poster artist Mario Fuentes, share a common background — they were introduced to cultures around the world by immigrants bringing them from other countries. Last year, Fuentes decided to create a poster for the Typography Day 2017 international competition, organized by the Department of Integrated Design at the University of Moratuwa in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The theme of the competition was “Typography and Diversity.” Fuentes’s creative entry — a collection of nine photos featuring seeds from plants contributed by immigrants — ended up being displayed in the Typography Day 2017 competition at the University of Moratuwa. It also went on to receive a Gold Award in the Graphis Poster Annual 2018 competition.

And it later was named a winner of the Latin American Fotografia 6  competition.

The carefully created images in the poster, combining seeds of various colors with earth in complementary tones, were shot with a “semi-professional camera,” says Fuentes.

“While I am poster artist full time, photography is another of my passions. It has captivated me since I began studying graphic design, and I use it often in the realization of my works,” he says.

For Fuentes, however, photography is a tool used to communicate specific ideas. “The main focus of my work is the concept,” he says. “The concept determines the aesthetics of each work I do, and the technique empowers this concept to detonate consciences.”

Here are other examples of his work:

Fuentes’s poster art has been awarded in a number of international competitions, including the 12th International Poster Biennial in Mexico and biennials in Poland, Belgium, Japan, China, Finland, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Spain, the U.S.A., and Bolivia.

See more at his website.

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Dispatches from Latin America