JAY BATLLE 2012 –
To give my honest opinion restaurants on the Bowery don’t really have anything to do with food, pretty much all the cuisine is the same concept creatively. Make money. It’s more about the scene the place attracts and the aspiration to get a table. Please don’t get me wrong, it is marvelous to be able to have Bibb lettuce and bone marrow with a mint infused gin martini while looking at all the beautiful people. I’m just as guilty, foie gras and a1985 Lynch-Bage again! But after San Sebastian and Paris eating, (and not the trendy places), the Bowery tastes like an airport food court, dressed up in a bespoke suit without any shoes on. I love progress. “You’re a killer of art, you’re a killer of beauty, and you’re even a killer of laughter,” Willem de Kooning drunk shouted at Andy Warhol, across a party on the Bowery.
In consumer marketing, an aspirational brand (or product) means a large segment of its exposure audience wishes to own it, but for economical reasons cannot. I also think this general term can be applied as a way of thinking about my art. Bending language and societal norms is a way to aspire to another reality where capital doesn’t rein king. Maybe It is an abstract and absurdist approach to Capitalism, but like maxing out credit cards, without intending to pay back or screaming at the top of your lungs “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!” into a restaurant full of diners to get a reservation, it’s a way through to the creative. I think that the spending possibilities and resources of Americans validate success. Not actual accomplishments, so aspirationally America’s culture exists, by how much capital it has, not culture, cash.
My stationery drawings and paintings can be read through many forms of taste, both culturally and culinary. I intend my practice to be a spinning turnstile where the viewer/audience can enter and exit the art at various levels or reads. I intend to represent a broader experience, a wider view of art. I want to give everything I can, because I believe in generosity, but generosity is an act of aggression. All my works are about occupying a certain aspirational space: collecting art, fancy cooking, and shopping, but in a way none of this is important, because the real way to escape society, is to derail language. “There is absolutely no chance to express anything. As soon as we start putting our thoughts into words and sentences, everything goes wrong.” (Marcel Duchamp)