PASADENA, CA.- The Pasadena Museum of California Art
(PMCA) is presenting Clayton Brothers: Inside Out, the first solo museum exhibition of the work of Rob and Christian Clayton. Featuring their paintings and mixed-media installations, the exhibition surveys the brothers edgy aesthetic inspired by California skateboard and surf culture, punk rock, folk art, cartoons and street art. The Clayton Brothers have been working together since 1996, constructing complex narratives that introduce memorable characters and comment wryly on contemporary life.
After graduating from the Art Center College of Design, the brothers initially maintained separate studio practices, but soon found that their best work was done collaboratively. Through a continuous, organic process of each brother altering what the other creates, a visual harmony and shared idiosyncrasies are established. The resulting dynamic works thus each represent a visual conversation between the brothers, revealing incisive commentary about their personal symbols, memories, and subconscious states, as well as their environment at large.
Inside Out presents work from six major series created since 2001, beginning with four paintings from the In Green Pastures series and ending with the bold, large-scale canvases of the Jumbo Fruit series, whose title suggests the disquiet and irony that characterize the individual works. The pieces in the series As Is are connected by the concept of people, like houses or other objects available for purchase, being presented as-is, while the Patient series portrays the medical industry and its patients with both humor and dismay.
Stephen Fleischman, the Director of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and curator of the exhibition, describes the Clayton Brothers work as being consistently informed by vivid color and an eccentric cast of characters. The result is an obsessively rich body of work that strikes the universal chords, but remains deeply personal. Front and center are the unique people, animals and places that occupy the outskirts of the American psyche.
Rob and Christian Clayton share a studio in La Crescenta, California and are both faculty members at the Art Center College of Design.