Blog - Titus Kaphar Amends History
Titus Kaphar investigates historical subjects and national monuments through the lens of current events to call attention to who and how we choose to memorialize or forget.
In The Cost of Removal, Kaphar draws upon Ralph Earl’s 1833 painting Andrew Jackson on Sam Patch to highlight issues of forced migration and our nation’s current political climate. In Kaphar’s work, Jackson’s body is obscured from the nose down by torn strips of canvas with Jackson’s own writings weighing the costs of removing Native Americans from their lands. While president, Jackson signed the document that led to the Trail of Tears, the forced migration of Southeastern tribes to lands west of the Mississippi River, which resulted in the death of thousands. The nails reference African fetish objects in which the number of nails indicate the number of people who put their faith in that particular object.