J.M. Journal

In the Studio with Marcus Jamal

We recently toured the self-taught artist Marcus Jahmal’s Brooklyn studio- with friend and photographer Zeph Columbatto in tow. We took a peek around the place while Jahmal tried on his J. Mueser commission for a few final tweaks- ahead of his show at Almine Rech Galley in Paris last April.

Jahmal's works are realized directly on the canvas- flowing between portraiture, landscape, and still life; existing somewhere between the dreamscape and reality, or as he refers to it “filtered realism”. His work features an iconography all Jahmal’s own- voodoo skeleton men, big game wild cats, and police officers and iron bars. At once intriguing and disarming, his works grapple with life in New York, the Black experience, and the gentrification of neighborhoods like his own native Prospect Heights.

For Jahmal’s suit- we wanted something dramatic yet elegant. We started with a beautiful worsted cloth from Drago- a super 160’s wool in chocolate brown, with a subdued tan chalk stripe- something reminiscent of a suit you may have seen worn by the likes of Serge Gainsbourg. We opted for a six-by-two fastening and an extra-wide, 11-centimeter lapel. For a relaxed but formal look, we left out the shoulder pads, but finished the sleeve head with a tight rope and added jetted pockets. The trousers are cut full; with a high rise, side-adjusters, and a five centimeter cuff.