Gareth Thomas: The Guardian

In her elaborate self-portraits, Cecilia Paredes hides within colourful, patterned fabrics. Based in Philadelphia, the Peruvian-born artist started the series in 2005, when she moved to the US from Costa Rica and was trying to “blend in”. “I wanted to really get along in my new environment and literally become part of the landscape,” she says. The materials she chooses have a personal connection: a pattern involving orchids, for example, the national flower of Costa Rica, symbolises her past life there. Paredes is then painstakingly painted by her assistants. “The day of the shoot is very precise,” she says. “You don’t want any disturbances. I cannot move, and the painting can be from 7am to 3pm, so it’s a very long process.”

Pictured: Portfolio Series: Cecilia Paredes is at the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California, until 30 December