Gregorio Escalante Gallery is excited to announce the upcoming exhibition, Total Dismay , a solo show by “Too-Realist” pop artist Jeff Gillette . Total Dismay is a follow-up to his work featured in Dismaland , Banksy’s full-size dark theme park parody of The Magic Kingdom that may have been inspired by Gillette’s Dismayland solo show at Copro Gallery five years prior. Now, from May 27 through July 2, Gillette will transform Gregorio Escalante Gallery into a veritable “art landfill,” with exhibit-goers forced to wade through the artist’s installation of multiples and prints of other artwork in order to view his new paintings, small scale sculptures, shadow boxes and more, all featuring his iconic artistic versions of worst-case-scenarios.
“I’m definitely playing with the juxtaposition of art and garbage,” Gillette says of the highly anticipated show. “As a pessimist observing what’s happening in the world right now, I’m seriously posing the questions, ‘What is any of this worth? and ‘how do we choose what and how we ascribe worth to things?’”
Gillette has made a career of these ironic juxtapositions, best known for featuring corporate logos (symbols of prosperity and progress) in decaying slums, an aesthetic that is becoming a reality for more and more of the world. For Total Dismay , exhibit-goers will get a preview of paintings of proposed projects he plans on executing during his month-long artist residency in Mumbai, India this summer. One may also expect to see Gillette’s newest character, Minksy (a hybrid of Mickey Mouse and Banksy’s rat) featured in some of the new pieces, as well as a few other surprises.
The basement gallery will host a separate group show curated by Gillette featuring works by his wife, Laurie Hassold, and fellow artists / collaborators Samir Parker, Gireesh GV, Jaune, Paul Andrew Green, Gregg Gibbs, Bill Barminski, Thomas Cannon, Sandow Birk, Jeff Alu, Sarah Perry, Jeffrey Vallance, Victoria Reynolds, Holly Topping, Ron Pastucha, James P. Scott, Nick Walker and John Brosio.
Total Dismay will be on view at Gregorio Escalante Gallery from May 27 - July 2, 2017 with a public opening reception Saturday, May 27 from 7-10pm. Events, print releases and other merchandise will be scheduled and made available on opening night and throughout the run of the exhibition, and will be announced as they are confirmed. There will be a Prints On Wood release in conjunction with the show.
Jeff Gillette's paintings examine the aesthetic structures and visual patterns of human settlement, specifically that of shantytown style slums found 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, Gillette sees ironic and amusing juxtapositions that occur when Disney, corporate logos, and pop icons from consumer culture show up as building blocks of shanty settlement construction. His works reflect these ironies as well as add a playful dimension to art historical relationships.