Everything Is Fine!, 28″ x 35 1/2″

Humanity is dangling on a precipice of catastrophe. Global warming, overpopulation and food crises, war, terrorism, and political positions that have never seemed more distant. The Doomsday clock is 100 seconds to midnight.

But the Doomsday clock has never been farther than seventeen minutes from midnight, and we have always been navigating our self-created disasters. In the last hundred years alone, we have experienced a world war; the terrorist destruction of New York’s Twin Towers; nuclear disasters at Chernobyl and Fukishima; the Bhopal Gas Leak; and oil spills from the Exxon Valdez to the Deepwater Horizon. There have also been countless local calamities like Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River catching fire in 1969—which contributed to Congress establishing the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and America’s first Earth Day the same year.

In 2022, Cleveland-based artist Amy Casey’s solo exhibition at Chicago’s Zg Gallery, titled Teeter Totter in Hotter Water, is full of paintings that capture our current crises. Her detailed acrylic paintings, which run the gamut from 6×6 to 40×60 inches, are chock-full of exploding buildings, houses falling into the sea, teetering towers that barely stand up, and constructions reclaimed by nature. Though the buildings are painted from actual architecture, they are devoid of inhabitants (aside from an occasional cat if you look closely enough)—occupying environments that one could easily assume are post-apocalyptic.