Ghetto Birds and Suburban Dreams
Jennifer Celio’s delicately rendered graphite landscapes manipulate perception, creating fantastical iterations in which artificial and natural imagery fuse to become newly impossible sites. Working in graphite pencil on a variety of paper types, she creates obsessively detailed renderings of scenes inspired by the urban environment. With earlier works, Celio’s drawings were directly translated from her photographs of urban settings such as a street corner or the façade of a tract house. Although photography still acts as a starting point, Celio’s more recent drawings have evolved from the literal to the unbelievable, now amalgamating selected elements from her collection of images and integrating them to make a single drawing. Hinting at the contemporary threat of environmental degradation, Celio’s dense drawings depict seemingly mundane spaces that have been artificially altered or supercharged. The artificiality of our natural environment as well as our quest for it are questioned.