ABOUT

JAY BATLLE

BORN IN SYRACUSE, NEW YORK 1976

Through his poignant and witty paintings, drawings, sculptures, and performances, Jay Batlle explores “the good life”—success, fortune, and an abundance of sensual pleasures—and the gulf that exists between this idealized life and the reality of our own. As he explains: “Even if it’s idealistic, or romantic, my work needs a pathos … an urgency, a problem.” For Batlle, this source is humanity’s futile aspirations to a life that we ultimately cannot attain, which he expresses in his work through recurrent images of women, elegant soirees, luxury brands, booze, food, and money. In his ongoing The Stationery Series, for example, he enlarges pieces of stationery from luxury hotels and restaurants and fills them with humorous, doodle-like images of limply sexualized cocktail glasses, thoroughbred dogs, bubble baths, and nudes.  “Batlle’s circulation of emblems and logos of status seem to have the desire to animate themselves. They could become characters on their own: the waiter, the chef, the collector, the conversationalist, the withdrawn poet, the fashion-conscious actor, the well-heeled gallerist, all seem to have been invited into the series as the subject of advancing art today. Impoverished and revealing faces alike—grimacing, mouthing, sighing with pleasure, and spiteful—are put in service of the implied economic service of the restaurant to the well-off client and a resulting critique that is hard to evade: art like an overpriced meal is to be enjoyed with the knowledge of its non-value or necessity” -Fionn Meade

 

Batlle has been in active pursuit of a unique visual vocabulary to express the absurdist human condition in late capitalist America. His work manipulates signifiers of elite taste to create an absurd social commentary on the human condition in our late, late Capitalist society. Offering both a critique of comestible-related decadence and a celebration of the preparation and consumption of food across various cultures. Honing in on the interchangeability of wealth and power, while blurring the boundaries between the two as it relates to indulgence and excess.  “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. Throughout his colorful, occasionally satirical critiques of the hedonistic fine dining culture, Batlle depicts the luxurious atmosphere cultivated by high-class restaurants and hotels. In this interview, the artist discusses the role food played in the development of Pop art, the important and underappreciated creative aspect of the culinary arts, and what to eat when you’re in the south of France.” -Alex Greenberg  

 

“Batlle was raised in California, and studied under Baldessari at UCLA; he was the first graduate student ever expelled from the prestigious De Ateliers in Amsterdam. Now based in Brooklyn, Batlle cuts an unusual figure in the art world: He’s less likely to be found contemplating his private world of neuroses than drinking a glass of Burgundy in a seersucker suit. Who said artists can’t enjoy the good life?

-David Coggins, Huff Post

 

Batlle’s studio is based in Brooklyn, New York. Batlle was educated at U.C.L.A where he won the prestigious Leveson Scholarship from the faculty. He was an artist in residence at De Ateliers 63 Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Mana Contemporary, Jersey City. Batlle’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions including: The MoMA PS1, Metro Pictures, 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, all in New York City. As well as: The Glass House Museum at Mana and Gary Lichtenstein Editions, New Jersey; Roberts & Tilton Gallery, Blum & Poe Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; The National Museum of Fine Arts, Santiago de Chile, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo sin Muros – Concepción, in Chile; Galeria Impakto, Lima, Perù; The Artothek Museum, Cologne, The Ausstellungshalle Zeitgenössische Kunst in Münster, The Abteiberg Museum Mönchengladbach, Germany, The Museum of Liverpool, and at The World Museum, Liverpool, 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, Italy; and Gallery Phillips de Pury, Dubai, C A B I N gallery Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

 

Batlle’s work is included in private and public collections, including The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California and The Artothek Museum, Cologne, Germany. His 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 was the subject of a solo museum 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.

Order the monograph here.


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