Copro Gallery presents Jeff Gillette's fourth solo show with the gallery,"Slum Landfills". This brand new body of work is inspired by a culmination of travels Jeff took through the slums of India, most recently, the Dharavi Slum (of Slumdog Millionaire fame) last spring. Most remarkable in his latest visual documentation of his experiences are the environments of many of the shanty town areas where it's hard discerning the trash from the architecture. Most of the paintings feature Mickey Mouse either prominently, hidden or dead in the piles of debris. Included in the show are a multitude of sculptures that mimic the detritus that is the material used by the slum inhabitants to create their impromptu homes. This show will give you a glimpse into some of the most wretched places on earth!
When I was thirty-eight years old, I was dragged, kicking and screaming into the Disneyland Theme Park in Anaheim, California to have "fun." Everything was clean, orderly and happy. I may have vomited. I prefer Calcutta, India. Over there I routinely contract food poisoning or worse,and vomit.It all started for me back in the late 1980’s 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, suffering, 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.