Review: The Vesper Project by Titus Kaphar


The artist Titus Kaphar has created something simultaneously fascinating and creepy as hell in his installation “The Vesper Project,” on display through December 13 at the Katzen Art Center museum on the campus of American University in Washington, DC.

In the New Haven-based artist’s telling, a man named Benjamin Vesper experienced a psychotic break, attacked one of Kaphar’s paintings, was arrested, and admitted to the Connecticut Valley Hospital. The story of Benjamin Vesper’s life and history are recounted with the detail of a classic Gothic novel through the artifacts of the 19th Century building that was home to the Vesper family. There’s a sick familiarity in such once-common objects as a typewriter and a phonograph. Newspapers, rope, and splintered wood cover the walls and floors, immersing the viewer in Kaphar’s art. The observer becomes participant in the art as wooden floors creak underfoot and musty air invades the nostrils.

In addition to The Vesper Project’s macabre house, some of Kaphar’s paintings are on display, including “Watching Tides Rise,” from 2012. It is an oil and tar creation that drapes the canvas from the frame. The artist’s frequent incorporation of crumpled newspapers and cut, folded, and bunched canvas challenge viewers expectations and preconceptions about the place of fiction and boundaries in art.

Published by mikepowernyc

New album "Observations" available now. A veteran of NYC’s underground music scene, Mike Power played on the stages of such beloved lost venues as CBGB’s and Kenny’s Castaways, as well as stalwart surviving ones like Arlene’s Grocery and the Bitter End as singer/songwriter/bassist with Late Model Humans. In 2020, quarantining from the global pandemic he worked remotely with other artists to record a collection of new music called Observations, that infuses his punk roots with introspective acoustic pieces.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: