The Taoist Universe of MA Batalla

Batalla created a great part of his pictorial universe in the understanding of the Eastern world, concentrating mainly on the path of Taoist philosophy, an artistic trajectory that is not completely detached from the Latin American tradition to which he belongs as an Argentinean painter. He also does not disregard the Western European heritage. This conjunction is what gives him the greatest originality in the search for the correlation between the art of primitive lines and modern art, which coexist and develop naturally in his creative expression. It is not easy to assess the richness and depth of Batalla's art, exploring the fascinating symbolic and hidden world of Eastern eroticism, particularly in relation to Taoist sexuality as a harmonic goal in the fight against the passionate instinct, vital energy, chaos and mixed feelings as pleasure, suffering, ecstasy, until achieving inner peace. 

The fundamental concepts of Taoism that go back to distant origins of our Western culture, in Batalla's art, as well as within Taoism, are linked to the animal world; in the Argentinean painter's selection, we can see it in the interaction of the horse, virile force in human relations, the cat, which represents the subtle feminine energy, and the dove as bearerof peace. Batalla's painting navigates between these two forces, Yin and Yang, fighting each other for mastery of space and emotional control. The rooster, the dog, the bull, the snake, the monkey, appear tangentially, especially in a large and complex mural in blue, white, and black, unfortunately now missing. Animals interact with human beings, creating a language of domination and reflection, of antagonisms coupled in erotic scenes, never pornographic. Yin and Yangseek an explanation to their existence moving among natural impulses that are rearranged through erotic exercises, complemented by a healthy diet or meditations that generate a primal mystique anchored to mother earth. The backgrounds of Batalla's paintings are usually connected to the primordial colors of the earth, brown, red, blue, ocher, and also gray in all its variety, which represents the nuances of Taoist human relationships, which are not black and white, but a set of grays that represent a myriad of complex human psychological feelings. Batalla's colors usually move with simple and pure or intricate lines within the passionate mobility that is the Human Wave.

In the Tao philosophy, as interpreted by this artist, man and woman are the architects of their own happiness, moving energetically in the confrontation of universal opposites, polarities that often occur in the great Human Wave that reaches its fullness in the love act.  There, Batalla fixes his figures and animals, either in harmonious postures of a loving couple and transmits their happiness to the rest of the relationships as in a chain or between more violent movements, down, up, or in a succession of complex intertwining until the desired harmony is achieved. These images are those that the artist paints on paper, cardboard, oil, acrylic, or ink. The latter, the ink, is especially interesting because in them Batalla gives free rein to his strongest emotions, while in other drawings or pastels his line is purer and simpler in the Taoist way, when it comes to expressing pleasure or ecstasy of the erotic act in its fullness. The postures that appear in his red, or brown pastels, or in blue, describe a synthetic language full of sensuality and in some cases between women and cats with a touch of humor or psychic behavior between them.

In Batalla's art, the love act, according to postures and precepts that he reproduces from Taoism in his imaginationreflects harmony, control of loose energies, freedom, or excesses of domination, typical of human beings, but always emphasizing in his message the concept of this seminal energy through which the Great Wave leads to harmony and happiness. There is a sublimation of sexuality that illuminates with a white strip the face of its intertwined characters, couples looking for the union of the opposites, between chaos and the natural order through which the vital energy of the universe circulates. The couple achieves fulfillment by keeping alive passion, sensual love, the limits between ecstasy, suffering, pleasure, or the harmonious performance of the loving act. In Batalla's imaginary eroticism, which is sometimes expressed as an Egyptian mural, with fixed figures or in the inks and pastels within the Eastern frame with Western movements, his imaginary fantasy seeks the intensity of the Human Wave. Women play an important role, they hold the reins of the virile passion, of the inner horse with its dominant force, and in turn, women appear to enjoy their own relationships with each other, relaxed and joyful, but not enlightened, because this belongs to the balance of forces between Yin and Yang.

Art critics who knew Batalla admit that he is a difficult painter to place within the Argentine aesthetic tradition. Raul Santana thinks that "his art stands alone as a testimony of an exquisite synthesis". Others saw in his painting a fascination for the primal magic world, but no one until we discovered his personal literature, linked his art to Taoism, which his wife Amanda Batalla fully corroborated in conversationsand which had extensive development in the Brazilian multiracial society where Miguel Angel spent much of his artistic life. 

We wish that his enriching work, open to a complex spiritual world, synthesis of primitive and modern lines, aesthetic arch valid at a universal level, can be valued with respect, with the appropriate multicultural sensitivity that requires a trained eye to the critical comparison of cultures, among which, in Batalla's art, the link with the artistic current of Latin America and Western Europe is not lost. Torres Garcia, Modigliani, Picasso among many others, intertwine in Batalla's art, without ever losing that thread of his life that was the path of Taoist philosophy and his admiration for Eastern art in general.    

The Human Wave

This series of paintings represent the exchange of energy between Yin and Yang.  The male nurtures his Yang by absorbing from the female Yin.  These energies interact harmoniously. This exchange can be explained as if fire and water were combined in such perfect proportions that neither of them defeats the other.

 Fertile Stimuli

These series reflects on the influence and inspiration that Amadeo Modigliani had on Miguel Angel Batalla.  The elongated faces and nudes; Batalla used them on his paintings always faithful to the Tao philosophy and the three fundamentals of the philosophy: purity, simplicity, and primitivism.