Titus Kaphar Essay

1394 Words 6 Pages
Throughout the history of art, there are many different ways to attract the eye of the audience. What is art? One can simply define art as a form of expression created with meaning and imagination. According to the Oxford dictionary, art is beautiful and it is a way to express important ideas and feelings. Creativity is a major key in making one’s art work extremely unique and stand out towards the audience. Majority of artists are influenced by their beliefs, ideas, and the culture around them. Titus Kaphar was born in Michigan in 1976. From that moment, an artist was born. He was set out to become one of the contemporary artists whom would address and voice out the many racial controversial topics that even apply to history today. He incorporates …show more content…
Dating back to the Civil Rights Era, where there were local and state laws that segregated the blacks from the whites. In Cultural Diversity in American Art History, Cadge-Moore points out that, “Desegregation of public facilities, access to voting rights, equal rights to employment, and rights to protest and march all became goals of the growing movement in the early 1960s” (235). Africans Americans were tired of being mistreated from the people of the society therefore they protested for their rights. As a result, African Americans were faced with violence by police brutality as some prosecutors were beaten to death. Titus Kaphar may have not witnessed the Civil Rights Era and the segregation, but he acknowledges the suffering that the African Americans had to face. One of his piece titled as “1968/2014”, Titus Kaphar refers to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and the Ferguson shooting of 2014. In the painting, Kaphar paints two hand symbols which are the clenched fist and the hands up. The clenched fist symbolizes the support and solidarity. It was a way of representing the black power during the Civil Rights Movement. As well as, to unite the oppressed people to show their support and fight for their equal rights in America. While, the hands up symbol represents giving up and admitting to defeat. The hands up symbol revolves around the Ferguson shooting …show more content…
He incorporates the art elements of American and European history in his paintings by presenting the Eurocentric view of history while illustrating the injustice in the United States. In the article, the author mentions that, “His dual exhibition touches upon the human rights [abuse] of the colonial era as well as the current fight for racial equality in the U.S.” (Hifructose.com). “Drawing the Blinds” was the first part of his exhibition and it depicts the subject of slavery and the white supremacy. He made an allusion towards the African Americans, who remained in bondage under slavery. In addition, he portrayed the white as the superior race by featuring the rich white man’s clothes. Kaphar uses canvases, layers and concealed figures to uncover the hidden image or meaning in his exhibition. “Asphalt and Chalk” was the second part of his exhibition and it displays the contemporary issues of racial inequality in the United States. The title was referring to the dead bodies lying on the ground during a crime scene. The painting illustrates a faded perspective to give the audience that there are more than one victim of the injustice. As well as, the painting contains a smudge effect to make an impression towards the viewers. His artworks reflect on the legacy of racism and inequality which leads to the ongoing racial discrimination that is still

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