JEFF GILLETTE

Jeff Gillette is an American artist born 1959 in Detroit. As a child he was exposed to the TV show The Wonderful World of Disney and adorned it. Yet, this vision was shattered in his late teens in 1978, when he finally visited the Orange County amusement park and discovered that he actually detested the place for its utopian artificiality. Jeff´s paintings examine the aesthetic structures and visual patterns of human settlement, specifically that of shantytown style slums in India and South America. To the artist, there is something ineffable behind the obviously chaotic and desperate appearance of these places — a universality of human spirit and a strange beauty which comes out of the necessity and raw honesty of the will to survive. Despite the seriousness of his observations, Gillette sees ironic and amusing juxtapositions that occur when Disney, corporate logos, and pop icons from consumer culture appear as building blocks of shanty settlement construction. His works reflect these ironies as well as add a playful dimension to art historical relationships.  Gillette is well known for being one of the key artists from Banksy’s 2015 bemusement park Dismaland and has even been hailed as an inspiration for the entire event. It was reported that he is one of Banksy’s personal favourite artists.