The Jerome Project

Titus Kaphar was born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He currently lives and works between New York and Connecticut.

Artist Bio

The Jerome Project is an investigation into the criminal justice system through the lens of the common and traditionally African-American name, Jerome—the name of the artist’s father. After conducting a series of interviews with Jeromes, Titus Kaphar will work with local high-school students to create a body of work based on their lives and experiences. The final form of the project is a series of paintings and sculptures, an experimental documentary, and national panel discussions on mass incarceration. Working with cinematographer Horacio Marquinez to create a cinematic collage, Kaphar and his collaborators will attempt to highlight both the similarities and distinctions of the Jerome narrative. His intention is to move this project beyond the white cube of the contemporary art gallery into a relevant programming initiative.

Award Year

In Progress


Titus Kaphar

New Haven, CT

Titus Kaphar’s paintings, sculptures, and installations examine the history of representation by emphasizing the physicality of the materials themselves to examine history’s contemporary relevance. He cuts, crumples, shrouds, shreds, stitches, tars, twists, binds, erases, breaks, tears, and turns the paintings and sculptures he creates, reconfiguring them into works that reveal unspoken truths about the nature of history. Open areas become active absences; walls enter into the portraits; stretcher bars are exposed; and structures that are typically invisible underneath, behind, or inside the canvas are laid bare to reveal the interiors of the work. Through his practice, Kaphar seeks to investigate the power of a rewritten history.

Titus Kaphar was born in 1976 in Kalamazoo, Michigan and lives and works in New Haven, CT. Kaphar received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and is a distinguished recipient of numerous prizes and awards including a 2014 Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship, a 2016 Robert R. Rauschenberg Artist as Activist grant, a 2018 Art for Justice Fund grant and the 2018 Rappaport Prize. In late 2014, Kaphar created a painting in response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of Michael Brown that was featured in TIME magazine. He gave a TED talk at the annual conference in Vancouver 2017, where he completed a whitewash painting, Shifting the Gaze, onstage. Kaphar’s work has been included in solo exhibitions at the Seattle Art Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, MoMA PS1 and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, among others.

Awards & Accomplishments


Titus Kaphar has won a Robert Rauschenberg “Artist As Activist” Fellowship