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American Artist Jay Batlle b. 1976 lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Gascony, France.
Jay Batlle is an artist who received his Bachelor of Arts from University of California Los Angeles, CA in 1998. He attended the De Ateliers, in Amsterdam, from 1998 to 2000. Batlle’s “epicurean” paintings, drawings, and sculptures take the habits of the gourmet as a source of inspiration and social commentary. His oeuvre offers both a critique of comestible-related decadence and a celebration of the preparation and consumption of food across various cultures. Batlle is one of the few Californian conceptual artists to deal with food and became internationally known for his use of vintage illustration on enlarged restaurant menus as a conceptual strategy. Batlle is acknowledged for his own unruly brand of tragicomic figuration.
In 2017 Batlle’s traveling solo museum exhibition Closed For Business debuted at the National Museum Of Bella Artes in Santiago, Chile. In 2019 the MNBA Santiago, Chile, and MNBA, Museo sin Muros – Concepción Chile co-published a 216-page color monograph titled: Jay Batlle Works/Obras 2003-2018. Printed by Ograma and containing comprehensive texts on Batlle’s works from Patricio Zárate, Katherine Chan, Fionn Meade, Adrian Dannatt, and Filippo Fossati in English and Spanish.
Batlle’s work has been featured in several publications including The New York Times, Art In America, New York Magazine, The Art Newspaper, Huffington Post, Interview Magazine, Elle, French Vogue, The Boston Herald, Artinfo, Art & Auction, and Frieze.
Batlle’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions including: The MoMA PS1, Metro Pictures, Miguel Abreu Gallery, Esso Gallery, Casey Kaplan, Nyehaus, Andrew Roth, Paul Kasmin, Feigen Contemporary, Thomas Erben, the Chelsea Museum, The National Academy Museum, Exit Art, The Dorsky Gallery, and The Whitney Museum.
As well as: The Glass House Museum at Mana and Gary Lichtenstein Editions, New Jersey; Roberts & Tilto Gallery, Blum & Poe Gallery, both in Los Angeles, CA; The National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago de Chile, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo sin Muros – Concepción, both in Chile; Galeria Impakto, Lima, Perù; The Artothek Museum, Cologne, The Ausstellungshalle Zeitgenössische Kunst in Münster, The Abteiberg Museum, Mönchengladbach all in Germany, The Museum of Liverpool, and at The World Museum, Liverpool, both in the United Kingdom; Soho House Istanbul, Turkey; Atelier’s 63, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Galerie Frank, Paris, France; Roza Azora Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Clages Gallery, Cologne, Germany; Galleria 1000eventi, Milan, and Villa Mensa, Turin, both in Italy, Gallery Phillips de Pury, Dubai, C A B I N gallery Dubai, both in the United Arab Emirates and 11 Columbia, Monaco.
Recent solo exhibitions include:
The Trouble With Having An Interior Designer For A Mother Part II, The Corner Gallery Andes, NY (2023). Closed For Business, Museo Nacional Bellas Artes, Concepción, Chile, (2018-2017), Closed For Business, National Museum Of Fine Arts, Santiago, Chile (2017), Salad Days, Villa Mensa, Turin, Italy (2015), Parties Of Six Or More, Norfolk Library, Norfolk, CT, (2013), Parties Of Six Or More, Nyehaus New York, NY (2012), Free Lunch, Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago, Chile (2011) Cutting Out The Middleman, Nyehaus, New York, NY (2009)
Recent group exhibitions include:
Doomed and Famous: Selections from the Adrian Dannatt Collection, began at Miguel Abreu Gallery, NYC, Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, U.K., ended at Galerie Pixi-Marie Poliakoff Paris, France (2022-2021), FOOD SEX ART, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2017), Self: Artist in Their Absence, The National Academy Museum, New York City (2015), Lonely Fingers, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany (2013), Swell, Metro Pictures, Nyehaus, & Petzel gallery, New York City (2010).
Jay Batlle’s art is homage to food of good taste. Yet underneath its savory surfaces Batlle reveals how foodie culture might just be a recipe for financial disaster.
Gourmet food might not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing classic works of art, but practicing chef and artist Jay Batlle is quick to draw the connection between the two.
Germany, June 2011 – Art is arguably our purest luxury. It has no inherent function, although it can enhance all other aspects of life. In contrast, food can simultaneously be a luxury and fuel all life’s functions, as Jay Batlle’s witty and thoughtful art demonstrates.
MARCH 10, 2014
NEW YORK — It was Peking Duck that first piqued an 11-year-old Jay Batlle’s interest in the culinary arts. As a pre-teen, his first studio was the kitchen in his Phoenix home, where he lived with his father and learned how to make the iconic Chinese dish from celebrated chef Ken Hom.
In the film version of David Mamet’s masterpiece ‘Glengarry Glen Ross,’ Al Pacino, playing the satanically slick salesman Ricky Roma, lures a pitifully meek Jonathan Pryce into buying a piece of worthless property with an amoral monologue on what in life gives lasting value. “Great meals fade in reflection,” he says. “Everything else gains. You know why? ‘Cause
it’s only food. Just shit we put in us. It keeps us going. But it is only food.”
Batlle’s paintings spotlight pleasurable decadence – specifically gourmet, fashion, alcohol and money – to ask the viewer questions about their own indulgences and desires. His work is both a social commentary on our culture and society but also perpetuates the stereotypes and clichés he asks us to look at.
When New York-based artist Jay Batlle dines out, he’s still on the clock. Of course, he’s at the restaurant to feast and imbibe and commune with friends. Upon the meal’s consummation, however, he poses a question he’s been regularly asking restaurant staffers for the past decade.
Jay Batlle loves German art, French food, and English women, though not in that order. The 33 year-old artist is currently in fine form -- his work can be seen in a sprawling group show about surfing since 1950, now on view across Chelsea, at Nyehaus, Friedrich Petzel, and Metro Pictures.
Jay Batlle and I have had a continuous, incessantly-focused conversation going for nearly six years now—always about art. We began as neighbors in Brooklyn, and now that we live far apart we talk on the phone, usually while Jay is driving home from his studio in Jersey City and I’m at mine in Los Angeles. Recently, I interviewed him over the phone about his new, extensive body of work, The Restaurant Stationery Series..
I spent the better part of an afternoon scrolling endlessly through his work on a spare Tumblr page dubbed, 'Restaurant-Restaurant.' For years, I had no idea who he was, and there was a certain pleasure in that. Some unknown industry insider out there somewhere was collecting restaurant stationary and bringing them to life with cheeky tableaus, splashy with color, a joyous depiction of the cherished angst of restaurant life. When I found myself on the phone, miraculously, with this mystery artist, I knew he was the real deal because all we talked about was food.