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Titus Kaphar on Putting Black Figures Back Into Art History and His Solution for the Problem of Confederate Monuments

Titus Kaphar came into the limelight soon after Time magazine commissioned him in 2014 to make a painting for one of its “Person of the Year” finalists, the Ferguson Protesters. The painting, Yet Another Fight For Remembrance (2014), is a 4-by-5-foot tableau depicting a group of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, streaked of white paint, as if erased from the picture plane or, more figuratively, the annals of history.

Since then, the 43-year-old artist—in addition to receiving numerous accolades for his work, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2018—has been making paintings and sculptures that confront history head on: how it’s being told visually, and what is wiped from the record. Using various techniques such as cutting, tar dipping, shredding, and crumpling, the artist exposes the troubling histories of our nation’s past, while also unearthing those that have been hitherto forgotten or untold...

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