Jeff Gillette is a California-based contemporary artist, known for his 2010 show ‘Dismayland’, the inspiration for Banksy’s bemusement park ‘Dismaland’. His satirical paintings merge the iconography of western capitalism with the barren landscapes of third world shanty towns, calling attention to the gross hypocrisy of twenty-first century globalism. In his apocalyptic vision, billboards of Mickey Mouse are crumbling amidst detritus as far as the eye can see, while desolate slum buildings have been emblazoned with cutesy Disney logos. Yet, despite the profound comment on humanity, Gillette’s ironic artwork has a playful side, suffused with a grim strain of black humour which is attuned to pop references and the fetishisation of the contemporary art world. His aesthetic straddles cartoonish illustration and highly skilled fine art for a powerful, unique result, which is both visually arresting and conceptually provocative.
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