|WHO: Jeff Gillette|
WHAT: Jeff Gillette Art exhibition of paintings "Slums"
WHERE: Copro Nason Gallery (11265 Washington Bl., Culver City, Ca. 90230
WHEN: March 22 through April 19, 2003
Reception: Saturday, March 22, 8-11 p.m.
HOURS: 1:00 p.m. - 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday
Social-surrealist painter, Jeff Gillette, will be exhibiting a large number of his oil paintings in a show called "Slums" at Copro Nason Gallery, in Culver City, starting this March 22, running through April 19, 2003. Two years of living in Nepal as a Peace Corps volunteer and numerous travels to developing countries in South America, Africa and Asia, has given Gillette a sensitivity to the plights and sights of poorer parts of the globe. His wanderlust developed, having grown up in southeastern Michigan, finding any excuse to get away from cold winters and the factory worker / suburban doldrums that eventually led him to California. After achieving his Master of Fine Arts from California State University this year, Gillette is ready for his second solo show in Los Angeles. For this present show, Gillette has produced a new series of representational work focusing on images of the teeming shanty towns surrounding the megalopolises of India, notably, Mumbai and Kolkata (Bombay and Calcutta.)
Apart from an obvious social-economic commentary, the images convey a deeper sense of meaning through the illustration of how the shanties themselves, built of the flotsam and discard of their (and our) culture, become objects of absolute, aesthetic dynamism. Slums appear as beautiful in a strictly visual sense, as they are repulsive in any moral or political paradigm.
Gillette's palette is an unusual cacophony of meticulously neutralized colors. Architectural details as debris are rendered to show the effects of the ravages of time, weather and the accumulated filth of a riotously contaminated environment. The assault on the viewer is an attempt to transport him to a world of the future where the burgeoning population has outstripped its ability to adequately attend to any quality of life for its billions of inhabitants. Amongst the hovels one finds surprising hints that these scenes of dystopia are potentially in our own backyard.
What Jeff Gillette is attempting is to not only present a possible social-realist hyperbole, but to engage the viewer with their own sense of self, having to reconcile the dichotomy of subjective morality and aesthetic objectivity.