My drawing style comes from the grand tradition of doodling. The smooth, gentle roll of a pen across the pulpy texture of paper is meditative and soothing. It’s the marks we make in the margins while our focused minds are elsewhere I find most interesting. Most of the work is improvisational, with no intended outcome – only hopeful surprises. Over the years several natural visual motifs developed that I return to again and again, “The Goddess,” “The City,” and the “Map to Heaven.” You’ll find these themes at work here, often a mix of two or all three. There are embedded intentional dichotomies to create a playground of visual cues and possible meaning. When I was in art school I would take my abstract drawings to my peers and ask, “What would you title this?” That simple question activated their imagination and engagement, and when I began posting drawings online with the caption, “Title Me,” imaginative, creative, and inspirational titles poured in. I collect them all, and make selections whenever the work is shown.
Jemal holds an MFA in Visual Communication from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL, and a BFA in Performance from Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, MO, and now resides in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area with his beautiful wife Maggie, and son Jonovan.
Jemal’s work is currently on view at The Pierce Apartments with Phantom Galleries, and at Works/San Josés 40th Anniversary Art Auction. Recently, his work has been seen at Fe Gallery (Sacramento, CA), Pacific Art League (Palo Alto, CA), Arts Benicia (Benicia, CA), The Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (L.A., CA), The Marker Hotel (with ArtSpan, San Francisco, CA), Works/San José (San José, CA), Space B (San Jose, CA), and Las Laguna Gallery (Laguna Beach, CA).
Previous shows have included in exhibition at ARTwork SF (San Francisco, CA), the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (LACDA), Atlanta International Airport (with Art House Co-op), Red Door Gallery (Oakland, CA), 20th Street Art Gallery (Sacramento, CA), Rock! Paper! Scissors! Gallery (Oakland, CA), Cricket Engine Gallery (Oakland, CA), The Living Room Gallery (Berkeley, CA), Front Room Gallery (Chicago, IL), Telophase Collective (Chicago, IL), G2 Gallery at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in private collection.
Sit down, let me tell you a story! It’s wild and fun, but everyone dies at the end. It’s wonderfully wicked but sweet as sugar. It’s best told with all the lights out, and under the covers. It’s really weird with a wonderful mix of spirited magic, horrible tragedy and lots of kissing. There’s light and dark, good and evil, peaks and valleys, and a couple of car chases. There are three prat-falls, and a twist or two… just to keep you guessing. It’s hot and steamy and a little dirty. It’s so exciting it will take your breath away. It steals it in the thick of night and runs across the forest with it. There are fluffy white clouds and dark hard rains. There is seemingly insurmountable despair, but joy beyond compare. Get ready! It’s about to begin…