About the artist
I moved from the Cold, Post-Industrial Suburbs of Detroit Michigan over 30 years ago, and found myself settling in warm, Orange County, California, home to Disneyland. I’ve only been to the park three times (mostly short-short visits)… it is NOT ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ to me…
I seek out the more Realistic places. I’ve travelled the world, and seen some of the harshest realities in developing countries from their struggling rural farmlands to their Mega Cities. I’ve wandered, taxied and toured third world slums since 1982 from India to Brazil and Jakarta to Lima. In 1988 I lived as a volunteer in Nepal for two years and extensively explored South Asia.
What I see and experience in my travels abroad or at home informs my artwork. I like juxtaposing the “Happiest Place on Earth” with what I call the ‘Heaviest Places on Earth.’
I’ve been going to Mumbai India to create Street Art since I was invited to Dismaland by Banksy. I started painting Mickey Mouse and Disney Castles on Slum Walls and houses. I’ve had the opportunity to work with fellow urban artist, Samir Parker. In 2018 I had a month-long Art Residency and made installations of Disneyesque Castles, including a 10-Meter high “Dhisneyland” façade on a shack facing the Mahim Train Station in Dharavi, and later we had a fun “art day” for the local kids.
Imagined images of Post-Apocalyptic scenes to Realistic environments of Endless landfills are other subjects of my art. I’m heavily influenced by the Pessimistic German Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, and his words resonate with me and help form my vision. Too keep myself from getting too depressed, I try to find solace in the joy that Mickey Mouse exudes with his very potent and optimistically pleasant omnipresence.
I imagine worst-case scenarios: both from my own life experience and from our past, present and future world-wide trauma. The Future to me looks bleak. I prepare myself Existentially and Aesthetically by researching what I deem ‘Worst Case Scenarios’Jeff Gillette (September 2021)