Titus Kaphar

  • Although Titus Kaphar’s work is often discussed as socially and politically oriented, the artist describes it as a series of deeply personal responses to situations, narratives or histories. He is best known for revisiting historical forms of representation, primarily paintings, and modifying them—cutting areas out, painting over subjects, slashing, wrinkling, layering, and stitching elements out of or onto a painting. Through these formal interventions, Kaphar reveals subjects and narratives that were previously hidden or made peripheral. At the core of his interrogation of the past is the need to address how black bodies and other bodies of colour have been historically either invisiblized or represented as inferior, enslaved, imprisoned, powerless—never as the main subjects. Rather than undoing this problematic history, he brings it to the present and puts it to question by redirecting our gaze towards those subjectivities that have and continue to be excluded and inferiorized.

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Kadist Artworks

Titus Kaphar

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Although Titus Kaphar’s work is often discussed as socially and politically oriented, the artist describes it as a series of deeply personal responses to situations, narratives or histories. He is best known for revisiting historical forms of representation, primarily paintings, and modifying them—cutting areas out, painting over subjects, slashing, wrinkling, layering, and stitching elements out of or onto a painting. Through these formal interventions, Kaphar reveals subjects and narratives that were previously hidden or made peripheral. At the core of his interrogation of the past is the need to address how black bodies and other bodies of colour have been historically either invisiblized or represented as inferior, enslaved, imprisoned, powerless—never as the main subjects. Rather than undoing this problematic history, he brings it to the present and puts it to question by redirecting our gaze towards those subjectivities that have and continue to be excluded and inferiorized.