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Jef Campion

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The Baby

December 22, 2016

The baby, from the painting ‘Portrait of an Artist’, is on the high bank of the cemetery, comfortable and content, oblivious to what lies ahead in the future called life.  Although the baby is captive to art, he is also the master.  The baby  is wearing a shackle on his wrist which is attached by a chain to the red paintbrush.  It is a metaphor, as a slave to art…a strong and unbreakable bond between the artist and his passion.  The shackle is also a watch with two gestured black hands.  The “shackle watch” signifies time or the persistence of it…past, present and future and how time is limitless but yet limited for us.  The chain acts as a connection of the infant’s intrinsic desire for art, it is a part of his body just as creativity is a part of his soul.  The sunken ionic column and other fallen columns reflect the past and the death of time.  The baby embodies past and the future, birth and death.

This is one of several breakdowns of the ‘Portrait of an Artist’.  Each part of the piece represents different aspects of the artist.

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