Jeff Gillette's paintings examine the aesthetic structures and visual patterns of human settlement, specifically that of shantytown style slums in India and South America. To the artist, 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.
Despite the seriousness of his observations, he is also aware of the ironic and amusing juxtapositions that occur when the debris of consumer culture makes itself evident in the waste stream and thus into the building blocks of shanty settlement construction. References to Disney, corporate logos, and pop icons appear here and there. His small collages reflect these ironies as well as add a playful dimension to art historical relationships.