Painter Marcus Jahmal Doubles Down

Scott Indrisek, Garage Magazine, September 15, 2019

Marcus Jahmal, 29, is proof that art world success doesn’t have to come by the usual means. The young painter⁠—a New York-native raised in and around Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, and now based in Bushwick⁠—never went to art school, and hadn’t even picked up a brush until his very late teens. Instead, he developed his chops as an assistant at the video game production company 4mm⁠—creators of the karaoke-style DefJam Rapstar⁠—where his boss and co-workers offered a sounding board for his earliest painterly efforts. Later, he’d pick up commercial gigs, like crafting enormous cityscape backdrops for a Cosmopolitan fashion shoot, all while pursuing his own practice at home. After early attempts to pitch his work to galleries, Jahmal relaxed, content to paint and post the efforts to Instagram. Playing harder to get paid off. CANADA got in touch, and Jahmal had his first solo show at the New York gallery in 2016, with interior scenes that all had a magical-realist bent: furniture flying, fire extinguishers spewing of their own accord.