Behind Titus Kaphar’s Ferguson Protesters Painting

Behind Titus Kaphar’s Ferguson Protesters Painting

Time Person of the Year 2014

To capture the impact of the Ferguson protests, Kaphar created a 4-ft by 5-ft oil painting he titled, “Yet Another Fight for Remembrance.” Kaphar, who lives and works in New Haven, Conn., and New York, mixes the work of Classic and Renaissance painters.

In this video, directed by Horacio Marquinez, Kaphar documented the process of making this painting.

“Like so many others, I’ve been struggling with what to do in response to what is happening in Ferguson and throughout the rest of this country,” says Kaphar, who received his MFA from Yale University’s School of Art. “Over the last few years I’ve found myself immersed in criminal justice research. I’ve been trying to make paintings that speak to the gravity of the situation. Honestly, it feels beyond me. What I make ends up feeling more like catharsis than communication.”

Kaphar’s work has been featured in more than a dozen exhibitions, including the current “The Jerome Project” at the Studio Museum in New York City through March 8, 2015. “The act of painting itself becomes a fight to remember the names of all the young black men who were taken too soon. A fight to remember that when this issue disappears from the media, it is not permission to forget. A fight to remember that change is possible.”

With special thanks to editor Mr. Magic, Julianne, Savion and Daven Kaphar, Emma Saperstein, Jack Shainman Gallery and TYCO New Haven.

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TIME