marcus jahmal

Describe the first moment that you truly felt like an artist? Euphoric. It was at my first gallery showing. The showing was in an industrial loft in the financial district – the energy in the room was great. Everything sold! What inspires your work? NYC streets, punk rock, old things, cultural concerns, the cosmos, animals, and solar power. How would you describe your personal style? Rugged and comfortable, compared to my painting style – which is more colorful and playful. My paintings are a surreal environment with some recognizable figures – a place you might see in a dream. Have you ever experienced a creative block? And how do you get through it? Creative block doesn’t exist. Sometimes I step away from painting to refresh my mind or whatever I was feeling at that moment. When I get back at it, all the answers come to me. “I need chaos in order to create” is something Francis Bacon said about his messy studio. Do you agree? What does your studio look like? I find myself happier when my space is organized. I’d prefer a clean palette to work from to get my idea across fully. It’s a rectangular space with a large worktable in the middle made from a ping-pong tabletop, covered in layers of paint and all kinds of tools for canvas stretching and fabric cutting. I’ve also been building my own frames lately so power saws and nail guns are around.

This interview was conducted fall 2014.

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