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Karen Antonelli: Pathetic Fallacy no. 6

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Karen Antonelli

I Am the Weather: Pathetic Fallacy no. 6

Graphite on Paper

30" X 22" (unframed drawing on paper, drawing is 16" X 16")

2021

Antonelli’s set of drawings, I Am The Weather: Pathetic Fallacy, are evocations of places in her neighborhood. The title refers to a characteristic of art of the Romantic period, where Nature is portrayed as reflecting human sentiment or emotion. At that time, painters like Thomas Cole traveled out of towns and cities to paint scenes on the edge of the wilderness and expressed nature in dramatic emotional ways that spoke to their feelings of nostalgic sadness as the wild continent of North America was increasingly being settled and tamed. During the early days of the pandemic lockdown, Antonelli was able to re-examine a similar interaction between nature and the man-made. In the drawing I Am The Weather: Pathetic Fallacy #2, the wooden utility pole and the tree dance together as cousins, against a darkening sky; one the reflection of the other. The time of day when the light from the sky just dips below the level of manmade light, called the “blue time” in photography, has a feeling of nostalgic melancholy. This quality of light suits the uneasy juxtaposition of rampant nature and the human desire for order and control. It’s the same juxtaposition Antonelli struggles within her own nature and when creating her artwork.