In 2019, being an interdisciplinary artist has unavoidably political connotations. Working with a multitude of materials and being informed by a host of muses, art takes on a synesthetic approach. Different formal disciplines, from music to sewing, form a patchwork that weaves together into a structurally hybrid identity for the artist.
Such is the work of Jordan Nassar. Born in NYC but utilising memory-skills from his Palestinian heritage, all elements of his work across fashion, visual art, publishing and music inform each other without displacing each other, as with the influences from his multicultural roots. However, all of his work is distinctly Nasser, in that it is all interwoven (literally) by Palestinian embroidery.
Nassar weaves complex layers of colours, landscape and lived-experience into his work. He uses traditional Palestinian embroidery techniques, which have been shown from local independent galleries to Frieze New York. By embracing a tradition from a country denied to many, Nassar taps into a cultural memory and weaves a landscape that in the hearts of Palestinians has not been forgotten.
When not making art, Nassar spends his time running a fashion label. A collection of long-sleeved garments, Nassar’s eponymous brand ranges from hoodies to t-shirts, in simple block colours and branded along the arm and chest with the Jordan Nassar embroidered logo.
Cool and simple, Nassar’s clothing has the integrity of his artwork by blending casual and care, and in the background of his campaign shots hang his artwork, bringing together the concepts embedded on the clothes and embodied by his multi-ethnic models.
His multiplicity doesn’t end there, Nassar also creates mixtapes and zines. With mixtape titles such as ‘Dabke Me Tender’, ‘1990s Hunks of Arabic Pop’ and ‘Respect Your Elders’, the artist brings back (like it was ever dead) the music our parents made us listen to, complete with cool graphics on the front. His zines are just as eclectic, with the hand crotched ‘Fleurs de Jerusalem’ and the sold-out ‘Nudes’ visually exploring the reconciliation between Arab identity and homosexuality.
What is completely refreshing about Nassar is his innovation – the sheer amount of work the produces across disciplines is not only broad but all of it is really good. Rather than focusing on marketing one medium, Nassar is an artistic hotpot and a creative example to us all.