Marcus Jahmal, Reverse Migrate (2017). Diptych, Oil stick and acrylic on canvas. 60 x 96 inches. Courtesy the artist and Almine Rech.
To enter Marcus Jahmal's Bushwick home and studio, I squeeze past a giant canvas leaning against the hallway stairs—a sunset through an open window, stratified like sand art in a vase, its horizon pulled apart into infinite variations, infinite color. The home studio is stuffed with work, evidence of the restless energy with which he paints.
A Brooklyn native and a self-taught artist, Jahmal has a multi-faceted approach to his practice, having exhibited interiors, landscapes, figural and abstract paintings—as well as sculptures—all within the past three years. We tour the studio and its overflow into the rest of the house. On the canvases: demi-gods, skeletons, cops, a man in deep contemplation on a tree stump, an upside-down chair buffeted by the wind of a desk fan, models in chic attire. I focus on a vacant interior, its walls bleeding rainbow swatches from the ceiling. Unstretched canvases are stacked haphazardly on the floor. Marcus hands me a book, its cover concealed by impasto fingerprints in multicolor paint—it is Federico Fellini's Book of Dreams.