Jeff Gillette
Since 1983, I’ve ventured into slums, favelas, barrios, shantytowns, homeless camps and some of the worlds largest landfills. I’ve experienced urban blight in Africa, Southeast Asia, Central, South (and North) America, Europe, China, Mexico, Bangladesh and India. Aside from the seething humanity, suffering, unfairness and cruelty of the urban slum, is a strange visually-striking beauty. The slum shack is an architecture of necessity - built from refuse and debris, rising from filthy landfills. What emerges is a living environment of aesthetic wonder, spectacular visuals of color, form, and texture, recorded, remembered and recreated in my artwork. The focus is on the Worst Case Scenario, where the present is hopeless and the future is bleak. I also depict scenes of Post-Apocalyptic cities rising from oceans of rubble in a world where we humans are helplessly paving the way to our own extinction.

To counter this depressing present and inevitably doomed future, I always include a Popular reference of contemporary culture; most often the Too-Real scenery is juxtaposed with a recognizable, lovable cartoon character. This tends to be my trademark, illustrating a narrative in a Post-Modern framework: reflecting an Existential Dread tempered with a healthy sense of humor.