Artist and former prisoner Gil Batle spent over 20 years behind bars at some of the country's most dangerous prisons. Now, the self-trained artist is depicting his experiences with a series of incredibly intricate egg shell carvings that will be on display at New York City’s Ricco/Maresca gallery.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Batle was incarcerated at five different California prisons over 20 years for fraud and forgery. While he paid his dues in the slammer, the self-taught artist began to hone his skills and eventually became the go-to prision tattoo artist. He attributes his survival in prison to his tattooing skills and now, he is telling the stories of prison life in minute detail on fragile ostrich egg shells.
The relief carvings on each egg show relay various stories in amazingly intricate detail. Many include tell-tale signs of life under strict control from fine lattice of chain-link fencing, razor wire, or carved hand-cuffs.
According to the art gallery’s press release, the artist’s choice to represent such intense disorder on delicate egg shells is quite telling, “The violent men he knew, the sad mistakes that sometimes led to the incarceration of regular guys, the terrifying events he witnessed, and the bonds formed under the worst conditions, all appear with precise detail on pristine eggshells, nature’s most perfect creation and manifestation of life and birth.”
Hatched in Prison will be on display from November 5 through January 9, 2016, at New York City’s Ricco/Maresca gallery.
Via Good Magazine