Cecilia Paredes (Peruvian, b.1950) was born in Lima, Peru, where she studied Plastic Arts at the Catholic University of Lima. She later went on to study at Cambridge Arts and Crafts School in England. She was awarded the Publicacin Libro de Artista by the Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, the First Mention of Honor at the Bienal Centroamericana, as well as first prizes at the Salon Nacional de Grabado, the Salon Nacional de Grabado in Lima, the Municipalidad de Lima for serigraphy, and finally the Universidad Católica in Peru for theatre/lithography. Paredes completed residencies at both Pennsylvania University and the Banff Art Centre in Canada. She is a contemporary performance and installation artist, who is best known for her unusual work in which she uses her own body as a canvas for body paint. Her last name, Paredes, which means walls in Spanish, perfectly suits her fascination with turning herself into a human chameleon and melting herself into the walls.
One of her most acclaimed series is her Landscapes, a floral series in which she is painted to match floral-patterned wallpapers; her hair, and sometimes an ear, is often the only indication that a person is in the image. Paredes has also transformed herself into animals, plants, or her surroundings by using body paints, which are applied to her body by her assistants. The idea behind her work is to display a theme of relocation and adjustment to one's surroundings, especially after migration or displacement. With her striking and though-provoking pieces, she aims to illustrate every person's quest to belong. Paredes's image, Meditative Mermaid, will be featured at the 2012 Los Angeles Art show at the L.A. Convention Centre in California.
Paredes's solo exhibitions have been held at the San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas, the University of Salamanca in Spain, the Natural World Museum in California, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Guatemala, the Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporaneo in Costa Rica, the Galeria Animal in Chile, the Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts in Miami, FL, the Michela Rizzo Venice in Italy, and the FIA Ibero American Art Fair. She has also been featured as part of group exhibitions at the United Nations in Paris, the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, the Art and Architecture Biennial of the Canary Islands, and the Biennale di Venezia. Paredes currently lives and works in San Jose, Costa Rica, Lima, Peru, and Philadelphia. She is represented by the Arte Sur Gallery.