Post Apocalyptic Disneyland Paintings by Jeff Gillette

Jeff Gillette
Jeff Gillette is a talented artist and painter, who grew up in the suburbs of 1960s Detroit. After high school, Gillette attended art school in the Detroit area, but adventure soon called, and he spent two years in the Peace Corps in Nepal, often visiting nearby Calcutta's sprawling shantytowns in his spare time.

Before Banksy's life-size "Dismaland" bemusement park, there was Jeff Gillette's "Dismayland" which he first used in 2010 to describe his expansive series of paintings and assemblages depicting Disney structures and characters in a post-apocalyptic third world wasteland.

Aside from the seething humanity, the suffering, the unfairness and cruelty of the slum is a strange beauty. The cacophony of filthy debris rising from oceans of garbage comprises an architecture of depravation and necessity. What emerges is a living environment of aesthetic wonder, spectacular visuals of space, color, form, and texture. These images, I re-create in the all too-realism of my “slumscape” artwork, in drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations.
-Jeff Gillette

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.


I travel to the most wretched places on earth for inspiration for my art: to third-world slums. From as recently as the spring of 2012 when I had a guide take me through the tiny, dark alleyways of Dharavi in Mumbai, India, all the way back to the late 1980’s when as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, I visited all of India’s large cities and their megaslums. Besides India, I’ve ventured into favelas, barrios, bastis and shantytowns, experiencing urban blight in North Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, Mexico and Bangladesh. Aside from the seething humanity, the suffering, the unfairness and cruelty of the slum is a strange beauty. The cacophony of filthy debris rising from oceans of garbage comprises an architecture of depravation and necessity. What emerges is a living environment of aesthetic wonder, spectacular visuals of space, color, form, and texture. These images, I re-create in the all too-realism of my “slumscape” artwork, in drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations.
-Jeff Gillette








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