My Loss, 2014

oil, gold leaf and tar on wood panel • 76.5 x 59.5 x 3.75 inches (per panel)
About the Work

This is the largest work of the iconic Jerome Project series, an investigation into the criminal justice system through the lens of the common and traditionally African American name, Jerome. While researching his father’s prison records, Kaphar came across a startling number of men who shared his father’s first and last name. Intrigued by the pattern, he began a series of portraits of these men based on their mug shots. Portraits draw on the visual tradition of Byzantine icons, specifically depictions of Saint Jerome, patron saint of librarians, scholars, and translators. The visible portrait on the right panel is of the artists own father. This work is part of the Brooklyn Museum permanent collection.