Art book

‘SHEREN’ Art Book by Cleon Gray, Adrienne Raquel

Some art books recall the careers of legendary artists while others delve into the creative heritage of mankind. Cleon Grey’s ‘SHEREN’ (“Sharing”) is much more personal; this new tome draws inspiration from the artist’s last two years on Earth to bring together his experiences, thoughts, memories and personal moments into a tangible body of work.

Alongside photographer Adrienne Raquel, Gray leaves her basement apartment in the South Bronx for an expedition through New Mexico, culminating in the self-discovery and rumination that explores her 30-year history. Reflections on relationships, family, America and black identity inform “Sheren”, accompanied by intimate and colorful imagery provided by Raquel and Gray himself. Exclamations like “DRAGONFRUIT,” “YOU GOT MY SOUL,” and “I WANT TO WAKE UP” punctuate the prose and photos, giving readers a lucid view of Grey’s unfolding psyche.

“The whole purpose of my existence is to try to do something that creates a feeling or an emotion in someone,” Gray says. “I think that’s what we’re all here to do.”

Order a limited-edition hardcover copy from SHEREN’s website for US$35.

For more thoughtful art books, check out The Time is Now’s anti-racism fundraiser, which includes raffle prizes from Antwaun Sargent and Shaniqwa Jarvis.