artist and former inmate carves 20 years of prison life onto egg shells artist and former inmate carves 20 years of prison life onto egg shells
nov 03, 2015

artist and former inmate carves 20 years of prison life onto egg shells

artist and former inmate carves 20 years of prison life onto egg shells
(above) reception: fresh fish, 2015, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.
images courtesy of ricco maresca

 

 

 

gil batle: hatched in prison
ricco/maresca gallery, new york
november 5, 2015 – january 9, 2016.

 

 

after spending more than 20 years in five different california prisons for fraud and forgery, artist gil batle now resides on a small island in the philippines. while behind bars, he fixated on developing a set of sophisticated tattooing skills — an artistry that impressed fellow inmates and protected him from gang violence. now released, batle has evolved his self-taught drawing ability into a complex creative craft that expands the traditional methods of illustration, and combines it with an atypical medium: ostrich egg shells. batle has expanded his experience inside prison into a visual timeline, carefully and meticulously carved into the fragile exterior surface of eggs.

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tattoo, 2015, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

 

 

 

batle’s orb-like relief carvings feature a rounded arrangement of pictorial panels, separated by descriptive drawings of chain-link fencing, barbed-wire and hand-cuffs. appearing on the eggs in pristine detail, the lives of the violent men he knew, the terrifying events he witnessed, and even the friendships formed tell the story of both a troubled ordeal and a realized potential, once which may not have been found without his experiences in jail.

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51/50 dreams, 2015, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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sanctuary, 2014, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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jargon, 2014, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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jamestown, 2015, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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it’s your fault II, 2014, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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gang chart II, 2015, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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naked II, 2015, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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it’s your fault II, 2014, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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cicada nymphs, 2014, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

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ghost communication, 2014, carved ostrich egg shell, 6.5 x 5 x 5 in.

  • That is absolutely amazing!

  • Absolutely beautiful! So full of emotion, dispare, yet hopeful. Hauntingly beautiful. Thank you!

    Carole Hall says:

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