By MICHELLE HOLLINGER
He began drawing during the earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 and hasn’t stopped. Jason ‘JaFleu’ Fleurant’s work is soul stirring, thought-provoking and brilliant. America’s social ills, especially regarding the plight of black men, have made their way onto his canvas. He’s also known to celebrate the role of black fathers and other rich aspects of the black community.
The artist decided to select 20 pages of his favorite pieces from 2013 to 2016 to include in an 8×8 hard cover coffee table book, The Art of Treal. His decision to create an art book is both personal and practical.
From a personal perspective, he said, “I’ve created so many paintings over the years and I wanted to challenge myself to curate what I personally felt were the works that best rep- resented who I am as an artist.”
From the practical, “Not everyone can afford an original painting, so I felt this was a great way to give people access to a bulk amount,” said JaFleu, who can now count Senator Cory Booker among owners of his work.
JaFleu said his love of art books goes back several years. “I’ve always had a love for art books. Early in my career I would spend hours in our local library overlooking the many books for some of the world’s most famous artists. To me it felt like a true statement of
‘”Yes, I am truly an artist and here is the proof.”’ The feedback from his newest venture con- firms his hunch that people would appreciate being able to experience his work in a book.
“It’s exciting to see the reactions of people getting lost in the images,” he shared, while also acknowledging “Sometimes, even for me there is a reminder needed of what I’ve been able to do.”
His favorite pieces from the book are The Birth of Treal, Another Brick on the Wall and Obatala, the piece Booker purchased.
“There’s something about the idea of being in someone’s personal library that gives me goosebumps,” JaFleu said.
The book is available at htt- ps://jafleu.myshopify.com/products/the-art- of-treal-jafleu-art-book-hard-cover.