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Patricio Tlacaelel

Trujillo Y Fuentes: Layers

Layers showcases the cut paper works of Patricio Tlacaelel Trujillo Y Fuentes, an artist from Southern Colorado who now resides and performs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His beautiful and thoughtful creations are reminiscent of the traditional papel picado which adorn the fiestas of Meso-America and the figurative and abstract murals of Henri Matisse. Trujilo Y Fuentes uses rice paper, construction paper, shopping bags, or magazine clippings to tell his stories. For the artist, the fascination with paper is not in the shapes, but in all its aspects; its texture, color, and history all speak to him and give him voice to share their whispers with you.

For centuries, we have recorded our life and cultural events on paper, in all its various forms. We file them away for safe keeping, but over time they mix or are lost out of context only be be shuffled in with other papers forming layers of a story. For Trujillo y Fuentes, his works are his archives, his documents and they record the layers of his life.


About Patricio Tlacaelel Trujillo Y Fuentes

On a cold February 26th, 1958 the doctors told the parents of Patricio Tlacaelel Trujillo y Fuentes that their newborn would not live. He was born Ill, premature and underweight. Robert and Mary Trujillo were devastated that their little Tlacaelel would not live. What a sad day for parents that should normally be joyful and filled with love. As life is resilient and even thrives in the harshest of conditions, little Tlacaelel thrived. He struggled. He fought, And, with a lot of love, he survived the bleak prognosis given his parents by the doctors.

That was February 26th, 1958. Today, sixty-one years later, Tlacaelel continues to live. He has always appreciated and loved all that life has offered him.

“I can understand why I was born premature, I wanted out of there, I wanted to escape the womb so that I could start my life. I know this because when I was two years old, I ran away from and was found walking down the street by a stranger who took me to the local jail to locate my parents.”, he recalls, “My mother tells me that when she got to the jail to claim me, I was very happy being entertained by the police officers, but with a soiled diaper.”


By the time he was five and enrolled in kindergarten, Tlacaelel became interested in cutting paper. He remembers always liking to do little art projects with paper. Once, he even took a pair of scissors from his kindergarten classroom and hid them in a little hole in the wall of his bedroom so his parents wouldn’t question where they came from.

In essence: Patricio Tlacaelel Trujillo y Fuentes grew up cutting paper, today at 61 he continues to cut paper. Trujillo y Fuentes refers to himself as a performance artist. “For me, creating art, no matter the medium is a performance." True to his philosophy Trujillo y Fuentes has performed at many venues and presented cut paper workshops around the country, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Millicent Rogers Museum and the Albuquerque Museum. His work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, in posters and postcards.

In addition to performing in cut paper, Patricio Tlacaelel Turjillo Y Fuentes performs on the stage. He is currently performing his rendition of the epic poem "Yo Soy Joaquin / I am Joaquin" by Rudolfo 'Corky' Gonzales, which he brought to the Albuquerque state in 2016, for the second time. This moving performance follows his people's journey from the pre-colonial Aztec empire, through the centuries of fire and wind to the modern man in all his plainness - layers of his heritage and  history hidden beneath his suit.  "Yo Soy Joaquin" will be performed September 13th, 14th, and 15th at the South Broadway Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Trujillo y Fuentes has cheated death and the joy he shows in his work is profoundly clear. Just see the colors he uses and you’ll know, this is an artist whose passion is in his art.

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