American Craft

GRAY AREA

JORDAN NASSAR WANTS TO make beautiful art, but he also wants to talk about his identity, his marriage, and his diasporic experience. An American artist with an international sensibility, a man of Palestinian descent weaving tight bonds with Israeli society, a man doing so-called women’s work, Nassar crosses many boundaries in both his art and his life.

The 33-year-old New Yorker grew up in Manhattan’s Upper West Side with a Polish mother and a Palestinian father. His childhood was steeped in Palestinian culture at home, and in Jewish-American culture outside the door. But it was only after marrying Israeli artist Amir Guberstein that Nassar began exploring his own heritage through art – and with it, his connection to a society whose fabric has been frayed by the strain of protracted exile, civil conflict, and military occupation. His embroideries, which resemble hazy dreamscapes, reside firmly within the storied tradition of Palestinian embroidery while breaking the grid of its conventional form. But the embroidery is just one

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