JEFF GILLETTE (US)
Even before graduating from California State University with a Masters in Fine Art, Jeff Gillette was making collages featuring accoutrements of the Disney culture. Recently he was brought to the world’s attention through his participation in Banksy’s 2015 Bemusement Park spectacular, Dismaland, even being credited as an inspiration for the show in some quarters.
Despite the seriousness of his observations, Gillette sees ironic and amusing juxtapositions that occur when Disney, corporate logos, and pop icons from consumer culture shows up as building blocks of shanty settlement construction. His works reflect these ironies as well as add a playful dimension to art historical relationships: the addition of pop cultural references serving to sharpen the satirical stance of the message in his work, where everything is otherwise entropic and terrifying.
For Gillette, 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: "When I visit third-world slums and landfills I take lots of photographs and videos, painting from them in my garage studio in Orange County…within earshot of the nightly Disneyland firework shows."