Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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The Jerome Project (Asphalt and Chalk) XI

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The Jerome Project (Asphalt and Chalk) XI

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Titus Kaphar


The Jerome Project (Asphalt and Chalk) XI

Creation Date


Medium & Support

chalk on Asphalt paper


48 1/4  x 36 13/16 in. (122.56  x 93.5 cm)

Credit Line

Museum Purchase, Barbara Cooney Porter Fund

Accession Number



This artwork may be under copyright. For further information, please consult the Museum’s Copyright Terms and Conditions.

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This is an unconventional portrait of three young black men whose tragic deaths prompted a national conversation around racial profiling, policing, and gun violence: Trayvon Martin (died February 26, 2012), Michael Brown (died August 9, 2014), and Tamir Rice (died November 22, 2014). Based on private photographs widely published in the aftermaths of their deaths, Kaphar’s drawing outlines their faces in white chalk on asphalt-coated roofing paper, thereby blurring the boundary between representational portrait conventions and common police documentation: the demarcation of victims on the crime scene with chalk outlines. The faces refuse to form a composite portrait, instead insisting upon the particular characteristics that defined each young man, and thus resisting the false—and dangerous—conflation of multiple individuals into a stereotype.

Portfolios: OLD_FEATC|GOVT1031_181114|Elias|Weapons of the Weak   OLD_FEATC|EDUC2221_181025|Fay|Speech and Protest in America