Jeff Gillette was born in 1959, in Detroit. As a child, at his home, he was exposed to the TV show The Wonderful World of Disney and adorned it. After facing the amusement park in the Orange County in 1978 he was extremely disappointed with the vanity of the sight and since then became somehow dazzled with the Disney iconography. The art school in Detroit was challenging, yet Gillette decided to join Peace Corps in Nepal. During that time the artist was faced with nearby Calcutta's shantytowns in his spare time. The return to the homeland was marked by a move to Orange County in 1993 when a teaching position at Foothill High School in Tustin appeared where he still teaches art today. From 2012 onwards he traveled and visited numerous favelas, barrios, bastis and shantytowns, experienced urban blight and incorporated that into his works. see more
The enchantment with Disney came as a natural extension of Gillette’s initial interest in Pop Art. First, it was Mickey Mouse that draws the artist attention primarily because of his simple, yet likable and simple features. Still, steady school job provided him with enough time for further development of ideas. Since Mickey is an iconic figure and somehow embodies Disney spirit, it is no wonder that Gillette produced a number of paintings with him alone. Second best is Minnie Mouse and from time to time other characters like Donald Duck, Cinderella or even sporadically ones.