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Portrait of My Father
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More about Portrait of My Father

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Jim Campbell has an emotional breakdown over displaying Portrait of My Father.

These were originally part of his Memory Works series. Portrait of my Father is on the right. Photograph of my Mother is on the left. 

Similar to Photograph of My Mother, this rhythmically distorted photograph of the artist’s father is encased in glass that is connected by a long wire to a metal box labeled “My Heartbeat 12am to 8am, January 12th, 1996.” The glass surrounding the close-up of Campbell’s father becomes opaque in time with the rhythm of the heartbeat.

Campbell worried so much that this piece would be construed as an act of violence towards his father because he was repeatedly erasing him that he cried on opening day and almost didn’t show it. This burst of emotion is understandable considering Campbell’s father had suffered from heart problems all of his life, unbeknownst to the son who in an eerie twist chose a heartbeat to symbolize his physical connection to his pop.