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Kaphar Sacrifice Analysis

Decent Essays
Art is a conveyor of whatever message or story a person wishes to share. As a society, we’ve become accustomed to the abundance of diverse messages and stories stemming from a multitude of cultures and people of varying backgrounds. However, the art scene has not always been this representative of all people. Contemporary artists such as Titus Kaphar, Kerry James Marshall, and Norman Rockwell have taken it upon themselves to proclaim the importance and presence of African Americans in history. Using purposeful art composition and meaningful symbolism, these artists address the imbalance power between African Americans and whites in regards to the lack of representation of African Americans in the history of art. By addressing this imbalance…show more content…
The painting “ Behind the Myth of Benevolence” created by Titus Kaphar depicts a naked black woman, sitting on a stool, peeking out behind a canvas of Thomas Jefferson. Kaphar portrays the black woman behind the curtain of Jefferson to communicate the hidden and significant role this woman played not only Jefferson’s life, but American history. The composition Kaphar designed in this painting not only argues the key unseen role of African Americans in art, but in history as well. The painting “Sacrifice” devised by Kaphar illustrates on one side a white man sitting on a chair with two African American men standing behind him while the other side shows the white man sitting alone with the revealed framework of the painting. Kaphar places the African American men behind the white man on one side and the white man with just the framework of the painting on the other side to argue the white man would be nothing without the backing of the African American men. The composition Kaphar constructed in this painting both reveals the latent role African Americans played in the lives of whites , and asserts these African Americans were backbone for these whites. The painting “The Problem We All Live With” composed by Norman Rockwell presents an African American girl, presumably walking to school, in front of a wall with the etched N word and thrown tomatoes, while being escorted by four white
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