Artist, Cecilia Paredes uses her body as a canvas and is painted to blend into floral-patterned wallpaper in her series, Landscapes. The aesthetic decisions creating her unusual techniques combined with mastery in execution has earned her wide international acclaim. The consistent theme in all Cecilia’s artwork is the communication of an unescapable consequence of being human: the yearning to belong.
Because belonging is universally psychological as well as social and political, the theme of her paintings casts a wide net in relating to most viewers. As a Peruvian artist, the effects of physical relocation and migration influenced her, and Cecilia visually expresses the universal desire to belong as a platform to provoke empathy for immigrants.
On a grand scale, her paintings are reminiscent of the all-consuming affect cultural stereotypes can have on females’ perception of self and the disregard of self in favor of belonging, social acceptance and the glorification of beauty. Strikingly feminine, the floral patterns absorb female subjects and shed light on the ever-present temptation and social pressure to form an identity based on society’s desired physical manifestation of beauty and current fashion trends and styles – all these things that attempt to define superficially what it means to be a woman. Whether by choice or unconscious design, it’s easy for females to lay prey and wear the mask of society’s expectation of appearances, so much that it can deceive her, robbing her of her own sense of self and power.
Seen in Paredes artworks, the subjects are doomed to stare at walls. Wearing society’s cloak as identity is selecting to lose individuality. Though it may look beautiful, on closer inspection, the subject has no face and is bound to stare at a wall. Very existential, no? We love them.