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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Juan Batta: Mérida artist against the wall

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Juan Batta. Photo: Alejandra Sánchez

For Juan Batta, art was always there. In fact, you could say it was there from the very beginning: in his genes.  

His parents met at La Esmeralda, one of the most prestigious art schools in Mexico City. They both went on to have careers as painters and visual artists, in the midst of which Juan was born. 

A detail of an apocalyptic work by Mérida artist Juan Batta, whose works are also seen on the walls of Flamante Burgers & Friends.

As a child, he would attend exhibitions and the after parties that followed. He grew up among art conversations, in an environment that he describes as bohemian. It is no surprise that, as far as his memory can trace back, he was always drawing. “It was my way of relating to the world,” he recalls. “Even today, I still carry a notebook and pencil everywhere I go.”

A street mural by Mérida artist Juan Batta. Contributed photo

After a failed attempt to get into film school, Juan picked up oil painting. When he realized that he could make a living by selling his work, his very own path as an artist began.

After a few years, he moved to Campeche in an attempt to shake things off from what he felt was a period of stagnation. This is the place where he first got into muralism, a discipline that would revive his love of art.

“The kind of painting I used to do was a representation of reality. Murals gave me the opportunity of exploring more fantastic and allegorical visuals. When you are painting a mural, it is a much more physical, more thrilling experience. The strokes are full-body movements,” Batta says. 

Science fiction is a major theme in his work. Obsessed with what a dystopian future might look like, Juan dreams of developing a full Mexican cyberpunk aesthetic. 

For the past few years, Juan has made a name for himself in Mérida, where he has worked mostly on assignment for bars and restaurants. He is constantly on the lookout for disrupting experiences that will spark inspiration. 

“A trip, even a tragedy. As an artist, you can’t afford to stick to a routine-driven life. You should always be looking out for experiences.”

Facebook: @juanbatta1984
Instagram: @paleo_borax_

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