Interview by Rukii Naraya
Tell me, who is Jordan Marzuki? Your real name, place of birth, where you grew up? What’s your childhood like?
My real name is Jordan Marzuki, but my official identification stated I was born with a name of Jordan without family name because the system that time was weird (as if now is not?). Jakarta, September 16, 1987. Just like most of the kids; I fight, break the principle’s office window and pulling classmate’s skirt.
Since when do you learn art?
When I was still in kindergarten, I really like to mess up with rooms. One time, I found a big sketchbook size A2, with sketches of face, machines and naked people. I was in kindergarten and only seen simple drawings of my friends, that was the first time I seen a realist drawing. Ever since, with my curious heart, I tried to follow the style that is drawn on the sketchbook, that’s when I started to sketch. Oh and that sketchbook belongs to my dad.
What is your reason to do art?
I remember, I was in 4th grade; my math teacher scolded me because I like to draw in class, and told me “do you believe in praying to statues? Why do you draw weird faces of people” From drawings we earn opinions and attention. Isn’t that what we need? Attention.
What does it feel to make art?
Like an after feeling of punching someone you hate. Maybe it is the same feeling as Jake LaMotta hits Sugar Ray till knock out.
What are your preferable mediums?
It all depends on the needs, but nowadays I mostly focus on applying it through product design.
Why is that?
Seeing people wearing your work in daily basis, felt real good, and I think it is easier to send the message / statement that I would like to share.
Your artwork has that ‘dark’ feeling, is there anything behind it? What are you trying to show through your artworks?
Hahaha! To be honest, I don’t understand what’s in me. If it is a flashback of my memories, none of it is bad during my childhood, too happy actually. But then, when I look back at my childhood drawing archives, I think it is plain because I like something different, ugly, weird, watched too many B class movie that offers violence and sexuality. My parents gave me freedom. Contents like violence and sex are not sex is not bad for kids, Barbie and Ken is way more dangerous.(See attachment of my childhood illustrations)
How did Balletcats come about?
Honestly, this is a hard question. If I want to explain it, it’s like a director advertisement of artsy moviemaker. The Balletcats was created when I was in college days, and at the same time I was working full time job as a designer in Leboye Design, Jakarta. Call it as an escapist or a drug to keep making art and communicate because I have difficulties in communicating through talking with people, even until now. In the world of The Balletcats, I raise a personal opinion on loving animals, homosexuality, violence in aesthetics, human and animal bullshit relationship, zoo folia, pedophilia, greedy and more, which packaged in a comical way. I never force to know who will be my target audience, because from the result itself, the audience will then create itself.
Now, what do you think of your own artwork?
I always want to make it better or change it 180 degree, or vanish it. Always never get enough of it, hahaha!
What’s your next project?
Full length film or solo/collaboration exhibition. Hopefully.