Naguabo, Puerto Rico
Artist Jamal Sultan establishes compelling bodies of work based on profound true-to-life encounters. His focal point lies within the message rather than the compositional details or the subject matter. “As a child, I would get lost in the amorphous shapes of water spots on the ceiling—my goal is to paint the kinds of stories those water spots told,” shares Jamal. Coming from a long line of artists, initially, he found himself reluctant to follow in his family’s footsteps. Eventually, he committed himself to studying art and nature of his own accord, shifting between conventional education to carving his own path. His mother, an accomplished painter, taught him much of what he knows. He combines the spontaneity of watercolor with the workability of oil paint through a limited palette of intense hues that evoke pure emotions. Jamal works at an orderly and streamlined home studio situated in a tropical rainforest, coming with its own challenges of humidity, bugs, and shifting light. Jamal’s skill has been recognized in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Outside of painting, he tends to his garden, which he admits to easily becoming overgrown at any moment. He takes pleasure in surfing, hiking, and kayaking with his dogs. Apart from his canine friends, he has four cats and thirty chickens that call his backyard home.