Jay Batlle's "Epicurean" paintings, drawings, and sculptures take the
habits of the gourmet as a source of inspiration and social commentary. 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. The artist asks: What is the true meaning of art, getting to the top of the social economic ladder or having enough to eat?
A skilled chef as well as an artist, Batlle treats his art much like a recipe, with careful preparation and a methodical process. His layered compositions often incorporate images and text from the food section of publications such as theNew Yorker and the New York Times or from pieces of stationary from restaurants around the world, as well as fragments of recipes, sketches, photographs, and other found objects. The resulting works, finished off with dripping coffee grounds, wine, and other food stains, seem to be both a critique of dining decadence and also a celebration of the preparation and consumption of food across cultures.