The cover of this week’s issue of TIME magazine features a moving cover image by artist Titus Kaphar.
The title is Analogous Colors and it shows a black mother holding a silhouette of a child, which Kaphar created by cutting the canvas. It references George Floyd calling out for his mother during his arrest.
The red band surrounding the cover shows the names of 35 black men and women who have been killed by police or in other racist killings, including Trayvon Martin, and Breonna Taylor. It marks the first time the magazine’s signature border has ever featured text.
Kaphar wrote a poem to go with the work titled I Cannot Sell You This Painting,
Are black and loss / analogous colors in America?”
In her expression, I see the Black mothers who are unseen, and rendered helpless in this fury against their babies/ As I listlessly wade through another cycle of violence against Black people, / I paint a Black mother… / eyes closed, / furrowed brow, / holding the contour of her loss.”
“This Black mother understands the fire/ Black mothers / understand despair. / I can change NOTHING in this world, / but in paint, / I can realize her…. / This brings me solace… / not hope, / but solace/ She walks me through the flames of rage.”
“I have given up trying to describe the feeling of knowing that I can not be safe in the country of my birth.”
The issue’s cover story details the aftermath of Floyd’s murder, from the protests in Minneapolis and in over 150 cities across the country, to the widely decried response to the demonstrations by Trump, who last week threatened protestors by saying:
“When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
But as powerful and timely as the cover is, one name was omitted from the red band. On Twitter, writer Kimberly Drew asked why the name of Tony McDade, a black transgender man who was killed by police in Tallahassee, Florida, on May 27, was not included.