Jay Batlle’s varied oeuvre includes sculpture, painting, performance, prints, drawings, short videos, and artist books, using the vernacular of the gourmand as a source of inspiration and social commentary. Batlle is interested in exploring “The Good Life”-success, fortune, and an abundance of sensual pleasures-and the gulf that exists between this ideal and reality. He subverts the gourmet experience into social commentary, mostly on the interchangeability of wealth and power, and the blurring of boundaries between the two as it relates to indulgence and excess.  Batlle’s output offers both a critique of comestible-related decadence and a celebration of the preparation and consumption of food across various cultures.  He asks: “What is the meaning of art, getting to the top of the social economic ladder or having enough to eat?” Batlle belongs to a generation of American artists who have responded to the precepts of minimalism and conceptualism. These artists aim to recreate the image and the social process in art, providing a channel for imaginary and everyday experience and forcing academic conventions to confront mass culture.

In a radical break from his signature stationery paintings, Batlle imagines a new body of work titled The Actor in 2020 inspired from The Myth of Sisyphus, by Camus. He returns to the poetic roots of his early sculptures and large works on paper, and uses his dead heroes as staring points for content, while re-focusing on tropes surrounding the myths of artistic bravado, inebriation, and narcissism. The Actor series uses self-portraiture and satire to express our absurd human condition with tragic humor and poetic beauty with printmaking and sculpture.

Batlle’s work has been exhibited at galleries and museums: including The MoMA PS1, The National Academy Museum, Nyehaus Gramercy Park and Chelsea, Esso Gallery, Andrew Roth, Metro Pictures, Casey Kaplan, Paul Kasmin, Feigen Contemporary, The Chelsea Museum, Exit Art, The Dorsky Gallery, The Whitney, (all in New York) and The Glass House Museum at Mana Contemporary, New Jersey, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, The Ausstellungshalle Zeitgenössische Kunst in Münster, The Abteiberg Museum Mönchengladbach, The Artothek Museum, Cologne, all in Germany, Roza Azora Gallery, Moscow, Russia, The Museum of Liverpool, and The World Museum, both United Kingdom, Dubai, U.E., and Lima, Peru. Batlle’s first solo institutional show took place in 2011 at the National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago, Chile accompanied with a monograph titled Free Lunch. His works have appeared in the pages of The New York Times, Interview Magazine, New York Magazine, Elle, French Vogue, The Art Newspaper, Art & Auction, Yes & No Magazine, and Frieze. Batlle’s writings on art have been published and are held in the Smithsonian Library and The Centre Pompidou.

His work is included in numerous private and public collections, including The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California and The Artothek Museum, Cologne, Germany. In 2017 Batlle was the subject of a solo exhibition titled Closed For Business at the Museum of Fine Arts Santiago de Chile in 2017 which traveled to The Museo De Bella Artes of Concepción de Chile in the same year. The museums have co-published Batlle’s first comprehensive monograph Works / Obras 2003 – 2018 printed by Ograma Impresores with comprehensive texts from Patricio Zárate, Katherine Chan, Fionn Meade, Adrian Dannatt, and Filippo Fossati in English and Spanish the tome contains over 150 colored plates of works. You can Order the monograph now on this website.

Jay in Brooklyn Studio 2017

Photo credit: Alexej Koschkarow


Bridgeman Images
Art Agency, Partners
The Huffington Post
Elle Magazine Spain
The Art Newspaper
Art & Auction
Frieze Magazine
The Art Newspaper
New York Times Review
New York Times
The Boston Herald
New York Times