Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents a solo exhibition by Cecilia Paredes, internationally renowned Peruvian artist. Having spent her early years in Peru, she continued her education in the UK and then in Italy. Then Cecilia returned to the American continent, and currently divides her time between Philadelphia, Lima and Costa Rica. Her rather nomadic life and frequent travels are a constant source of inspiration. However, the artist doesn´t break up with her origins, for it was Latin America that made her extremely sensitive to the beauty and variety of nature.
When she was a child, Cecilia often produced collages from twigs, leaves and other natural materials. She started her professional career as a painter, then passed to three-dimensional objects and finally found herself in photography. The artist describes herself in the following words: «I am like a crow — I go flying and pick up whatever I need to express my ideas.» Paredes refers to her works as photo-performances: with the help of assistants she paints and decorates her own body, penetrates into the image and poses in front of her favourite Hasselblad camera. Cecilia dissolves literally in her pieces, using her body as a blank sheet.
Private Garden exhibition incorporates works from two extensive series — animals and landscapes. In the animalistic cycle, Cecilia tries on the appearances of animals or fantastic mythical creatures, which gives birth to amazing hybrids of beasts and human beings. Body-art, animal attributes (such as feathers, antlers, or squames) and digital technologies are all put into play. These reincarnations reflect the inner self of the artist and, at the same time, let her face her fears. Such ritual self-identification with animals has much in common with folklore traditions of the Caribbean and even with classical Greco-Roman mythology. Paredes interprets the genre of self-portrait in her own way: here nature becomes an integral part of the artist’s body and soul.
The landscape series is a rather recent one — it is inspired by different cultures that the artist sees during her travels. Here mythological and natural motifs give place to decorative patterns that one can find in different places throughout the world. In her studio, the artist recreates the atmosphere of the spots that she visited, and her painted body merges with the striking backgrounds of her photographs. Moving from one place to another, we have to adapt to the new surroundings to become parts of the landscape. Here the setting consumes the author and becomes a character in its own right, rather than just an addition to the figure.
The very special attitude that Cecilia Paredes demonstrates toward the environment penetrates into all aspects of her life. She advocates the protection of the environment and cultural diversity, and is member of Art for Change and Everglades Foundation. The artist has always felt that all answers are in nature. It is very important for her to attract attention to environmental problems and to make people conscious about ecology. While travelling the world, Paredes conveys adventure spirit in her work, having a truly nomadic insight. «Maybe nature is my home,» she queries.