reviews

  • Titus Kaphar, The Vesper Project (detail), 2008–13, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.

    Titus Kaphar

    Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati

    The story goes that, while looking at a portrait by Titus Kaphar hanging in the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, a man named Benjamin Vesper suffered a sudden psychotic break and attacked the painting. The man was hospitalized but later escaped, and was eventually found squatting in an abandoned nineteenth-century house that he insisted belonged to his family. The history goes that the ancestral Vespers were a well-to-do, mixed-race family living in Reconstruction-era Connecticut. Their light skin allowed them to “pass” as white until an unplanned pregnancy thwarted the proposed marriage

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