My first introduction to the new works of Jessica Westhafer was through a few conversations about pop-culture, art history and her contemporary influences. Doom and Gloom seemed to pull from everything we see in our daily lives, and as a painter, all the art we take in and process. Westhafer makes her paintings move, makes her charaactets twist and turn and look in every direction, and with that, she is looking at the world with a sense of urgency and almost trepidation. 

Doom and Gloom has a sense of humor and a sesne of absurdity. It’s as if one bad thing happens on the canvas, and they get worse from painting to painting. I love that sort of series, that each works speaks to each other and by the end of ths show, you almost laugh. How much more can we take? How much more can these paintings take? Westhafer understands that the modern world is about appropriation and re-imagining, that in our current climate, we are hit with so much information and literal doom and gloom that to paint it all makes for an entirely new vision. It’s fun, it’s intense, it’s overwhelming, it’s a laugh, it’s life. —Evan Pricco

Doom and Gloom is on view at Arsenal Contemporary in NYC through Februrary 26, 2022.