Cecilia Paredes combines themes of origin, nature, and femininity to create a subtle blend of visual aesthetics, self-introspection, and representation. Her artwork is manifested through the lens of her past and present life experiences, integrated with her cultural, poetic, and environmental influences.
She currently divides her time between Philadelphia PA in the US and Lima, Peru, researching and producing her work in both cities. While in Philadelphia, she lectures around the US and at the University of Pennsylvania.
Traveling frequently, the artist is inspired by the many locations and cultures she encounters. Her travels and deep immersion in a variety of cultures has given her a nomadic-like perspective that informs her work. This condition is partly the result of her choice to divide her time between North and South America as she fully pursues her career as an artist. As Paredes moves through the many forms, subjects and ideas of her work, the theme of origin is highly important and all-encompassing to her. She views the concept of origin in a literal and poetic sense. From that basis, she uses a blend of sculptural forms and photography to convey a vision of her mutable identity.
Cecilia Paredes, with the aid of her assistants, spends days preparing for a photo shoot, refining the concept, and laying out the technical details. The result is a photographic register of an intricately staged event in which she may perform as an animal-like creature, a mythical being, or en element drawn from nature. She will often merge her identity with animals that are generally underrepresented or marginalized in popular culture such as snakes, skunks, shrimp or fish. She also chooses particular animals based on how she identifies with them, or as a way to face her fears and prejudice about that particular creature. Paredes wishes to give these animals dignity by showing they are worthy creatures, perfect as they are within nature. With many of her pieces, Paredes’ transformation transcends the visual realm, as her deepest consciousness reaches towards the animal she is depicting. The process of creating her work, in turn, relieves Paredes of her own misgivings about her subjects.