United States (b. 1962)
Born and raised in San Francisco to Filipino parents. He spent over 20 years of his life in and out of five different California prisons for convictions of fraud and forgery and now lives on a small island in the Philippines. Batleʼs self-taught drawing ability evolved behind bars into sophisticated and clandestine tattooing skills that protected him from murderous gang violence in prisons such as San Quentin, Chuckawalla, and Jamestown—the “Gladiator School,” as itʼs known to the unfortunate cognoscenti. Where Bloods, Crips, and Aryan Brotherhood gang-bangers in racially segregated cell-blocks rule with intimidation and threat, Batleʼs facility for drawing was considered magic by the murderers, drug dealers, and armed robbers whose stories he now recounts in hyper-detailed works on paper, sculptural objects, and minutely carved ostrich egg shells; each with an architecture of pictorial panels supported and separated by a fine lattice of chain-link fencing, razor-wire, or carved hand-cuffs.