Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Jason Innocent’s 39 Drawings by Jason Innocent is a nonfiction collection of early art, musings and drawings created by the artist during his teenage years. Born of Haitian parents, Innocent and his siblings were raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York. His artistic vision was initially recognized in his graffiti images on Manhattan buildings, which blend line drawings, words, phrases, and poetry. He had his first showing in a Brooklyn gallery in 2016. In this collection, he plays with abstract concepts and verbal message/image pairs. The initial drawing in the collection will bring thoughts of dread to those for whom mathematics is a phobia, and an unerring instinct to make sense of his charts and equations to those who love that demanding and infinitely mysterious subject. The artist’s terse: “This vagrant laying on/Hester St use to Be/My TEACHER” (quoted with some minor alterations) is stark and powerful. His thoughts on race and social justice are reflected in drawings such as Origin of Negros, Sweetwater Clifton, Uncle Tom and Jim Crow.
Jason Innocent’s nonfiction collection of early art, musings and drawings, 39 Drawings, is thought-provoking and, at times, disturbing as the artist draws the onlooker’s attention to connections between artists, writers and historical figures, philosophical constructs and his thoughts about race. I was particularly impressed with the drawing, Jim Crow, where the artist’s minimal use of lines and curves create depth and form, and the artist’s message is elegantly highlighted. The drawing, Baron Lakwa, is intense and brooding, with bold lines denoting power and presence. Jason Innocent’s 39 Drawings alternately confused and delighted me, but at all times my attention was focused on the artist, his message and those images he uses to convey it. Jason Innocent’s 39 Drawings by Jason Innocent is highly recommended.