Cities are made up of communities, their geography formed by the relationship between their buildings, parks, roads and bridges. In her first exhibition at the gallery, the Cleveland based painter explores her own relationship to the neighborhood through metaphor and absurdist invention, both practical and nutty.
In Casey’s acrylic paintings on paper and clay board, she designs whimsically perched cities towering in height, jumbled with familiar suburban houses, fused with urban buildings, topped by trees jutting outwards and between buildings like lettuce in a sandwich.
“I have been in search of solid ground…trying to take what was left of the world in my paintings and create a stability of sorts, thinking about community ties and the security (or illusion of security) needed to nurture growth,” says Casey. “I am consistently fascinated by the resilience of life and our ability to keep going in the face of sometimes horrendous or ridiculous circumstances.”
Exploring her neighborhoods by foot and local bus routes, she photographs an inventory of the buildings attracted by their intrinsic personality. This combination of familiar homes and edgy urban buildings join, intertwine, and intersect one another creating as Casey says, “a precarious heap hum” of a city.
In this finely detailed world, rows of side-by-side A-frame homes perch on rings of streets. Crowns of clustered telephone poles connect land lines to their dwellings, rubbing shoulders with a jumble of commercial structures and noodle brick walls.
Amy Casey received her BFA in painting form the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999. She has exhibited her work regionally and nationally with solo shows in Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Her work as been published in The New York times, New American Paintings, Juxtapoz, Hi Fructose, and Elephant and Harper's Magazine. Casey has been awarded two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards, the Cleveland Arts Prize as an emerging artist and a grant though CPAC’s Creative Workforce Fellowship program. Amy Casey currently works and resides in Cleveland, Ohio.