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 intensely compacted narratives on an intuitive basis. Rob and Christian Clayton seldom work on the same canvas at the same time, or discuss their projects during their creation. Playing off of a uniquely 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.
Working from their Los Angeles studio, the Clayton brothers drew inspiration from their immediate environment by incorporating local businesses, neighborhood regulars, and snippets of overheard conversations as subjects for their paintings. Composing their pieces in conjunction with one another, recurrent motifs, gestures, places, and figures appear within different works; creating the drama of linked experience. Set upon collaged canvases, the physical layers of their surfaces create a condensed tableaux. The brothers approached painting as a visual representation of pure energy: everyday scenes explode in vortexes of blinding color, movement is practically animated, and products make their placement, an effect similar to viewing every frame of a film simultaneously. In presenting a specific locality, the Clayton brothers relate the personal to the global, but still offer a vision of "America-as-it-is." In turn, they celebrated and shared all of its diverse, spectacular, and solitary splendor.
Rob (b. 1963, OH) and Christian (b. 1967, CO) Clayton both received their B.F.A.s from Art Center College of Design (CA). They have had solo exhibitions at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (CA), and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (WI) in addition to shows in Houston, New York, Beijing, Los Angeles, and Miami. Their work has also been included in shows at the Museum of the Moving Image (NY), Santa Monica Museum of Art (CA), Laguna Art Museum (CA), Kistler Beach Museum of Art (KS), Corcoran Museum of Art (DC), and the Dallas Museum of Art (TX), among others. They have also participated in more than twenty visiting artist lectures around the world, and their work appears in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego (CA), Norton Museum of Art (FL), Sweeney Art Gallery at the University of California, Riverside (CA), and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art (CA). The artists both live and work in Los Angeles, CA.