Jay Batlle, ‘The Execution of History’, 2010, Mana Contemporary

About Jay Batlle

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 “Large Drawings” 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 naked women.

American, b. 1976, Syracuse, New York, based in Brooklyn, New York