Rob Williams: Titus Kaphar - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

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Rob Williams: Titus Kaphar

(Source: Rob Williams, FOX19 NOW) (Source: Rob Williams, FOX19 NOW)
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Artist Titus Kaphar’s work being showcased at the Contemporary Arts Center in downtown Cincinnati.

I think it’s definitely worth checking out, especially now. The Jerome Project features asphalt and tar portraits. 

The project began four years ago, while researching his father prison records.  Kaphar seeing a lot of mug shots from strangers who shared his father’s name.  He was inspired to draw composite portraits of multiple “Jeromes”   As he layers the facial features, each face bleeds into the next, and the individual, the person is lost.

One was created by combing the overlaid faces Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Amadou Diallo.  All black males shot and killed by police.

When “The Jerome Project” was shown in New York City, a Time magazine editor asked Kaphar to create a work of art representing the Ferguson protestors.  That work featured when Time named those protesters as runners up to the Person of the Year.

I think art works best when it spurs thoughtful but often uncomfortable conversations.  Honest conversations that help us understand each other better.  Kaphar has another exhibit at the CAC called “The Vesper Project.”  It is about the Vesper family who passed as a white family in New England, even though they were “Negro” in the eyes of the law.  The CAC also recently spent more than one million dollars to renovate the lobby to make it more welcoming to visitors.  I think it worked,  because I wanted to stay and relax a bit after my live reports last week. 

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