Selected works by Clayton Brothers

Clayton Brothers
Turbulent Tumble Tumble

2006

Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas

213.4 x 304.8 cm

For brothers Rob and Christian Clayton collaboration is more than a process: the concept of symbiosis resonates through every aspect of their paintings and installations. In a practice devoid of ego and restraint, the Clayton brothers develop intense compacted narratives on an intuitive basis. Rob and Christian Clayton seldom work on the same canvas at the same time, or discuss of their projects during making. Playing off their unspoken synergy, they take turns inventing, adding to, and editing each piece, propelling their ‘stories’ through spontaneous improvisation. Entwining their independent approaches, styles, and palettes, their works operate as co-authored epics, fusing the concept of self with the communal.


Clayton Brothers
Brace Together Spin Spin

2006

Mixed Media on Stretched Canvas

213.4 x 304.8 cm

Working from their Californian high street studio, the Clayton brothers draw inspiration from their immediate environment, incorporating local businesses, neighbourhood regulars, and snippets of overheard conversations as subjects for their paintings. Composing their pieces conjunctively, motifs, gestures, places, and figures reoccur within different works, creating inter-linked dramatic scripts. Set on collaged canvases, the physical layering of their surfaces reflects their condensed tableaux. Approaching painting as a visual representation of pure energy, everyday scenes explode in vortexes of blinding colour, animated movement, and product placement, giving the effect of viewing every frame of a film simultaneously. Through presenting a locality, the Clayton brothers relate the personal to the global. Offering a vision of America-as-it-is, they celebrate and share all its diverse, spectacular, and solitary splendour.


Articles

CLAYTON BROTHERS


Bellwether is proud to announce the opening of the Clayton Brothers first New York solo exhibition, Wishy Washy. After an indelible statement at Art Basel Miami Beach in 2004 and several solo exhibitions on the West Coast and in Houston, the Clayton Brothers intensify their vision for their New York debut. Wishy Washy will feature 14 paintings, more than 16 drawings, and a Laundromat themed installation.

Los Angeles artists Rob and Christian Clayton are brothers, collaborators, and the best of friends. Collectively they work as the Clayton Brothers, producing dynamic, improvisational, yet purposeful and humane paintings, installations and mixed-media works on paper. The Clayton Brothers’ approach to art-making is a collaborative process: one brother begins a painting, then hands it off to the other, then back again, and so on. Their art is narrative, autobiographical, uncanny and intuitive, culled from the secret language of a shared childhood. Rather than nostalgic musings about youth, the Clayton Brothers’ recollections of the past are revealed through a twisted lens of adulthood. At once epic and intimate, the Clayton Brothers’ layered paintings become stories where the matrix of two psyches – independent, but related – weave together elements of memory and the subconscious using the seemingly innocuous – the TV dinner, the toothbrush, the dastardly squirrel- as metaphors and messengers.

Their exhibition Wishy Washy is a fantastical allegory of the neighborhood in which their studio is located, and its denizens. Surrounded by aging strip malls, senior living complexes, dive bars and tanning parlors, the Clayton Brothers are witnesses to the lives of various characters who pass before their storefront studio. Implied narratives leave their mark and are channeled through each brother’s perception as they write the story of the neighborhood in images. The Laundromat becomes the locus where all of the stories converge and infuse themselves into the washers, dryers, walls and floors. The atmosphere resonates with the emotional and experiential residue of the patrons.

The Clayton Brothers’ narrative style is a kind of non-linear abstraction verging on reality. There is nothing premeditated or provincial about this work. The sheer bulk of characters with their untamed manners, liberty of movement, power in space, but also their elegance is conveyed with a masterly precision and economy of line that befits two artists with more than 20 combined years of art-making. The tonal qualities and the ingenious use of surfaces in the canvas and on paper, suggest a kind of cinematic perspective. The freshness of the pigments and the impact of the colors is a force on innocent eyes who are unaccustomed to visual forms outside nature itself.

Rob and Christian Clayton grew up in Aurora, Colorado, and graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 1988 and 1991, respectively. La Luz de Jesus Press published their book, The Most Special Day of My Life in 2003. Their installation Tim House was recently installed at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Read the entire article here.

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Source: bellwethergallery.com