the Clayton Brothers Share a Language for Vision

The 7:30 jackhammer made me jump out of bed and get right into it. As my feet touched ground I was extra motivated to race with rush hour LA and head north to visit the Clayton Brothers studio.
My mind was awhirl, filled with creative thoughts for the day. “Language of Vision,” written by Gyorgy Kepes occupied my mind on the drive over. The book is dynamic, written in 1944, introducing theories and illustrations on how to better understand the function and structure of art in our society.
“The language of vision” is a perfect way to describe the Clayton Brothers as their densely painted surfaces convey a narrative that archives the force of two frenetic technicians who layer thousands upon thousands of shapes and shards of color on top of one another to create a unified language of beauty. (“Redi Whip Laughter,” 84x84”, above).
Gracious hosts, Rob and Christian, reorganized the studio, showing 3 never seen before works on paper created during their 2006 “Wishy Washy” exhibition (above), as well as one of their most important pieces featured in the 2009 “Jumbo Fruit” exhibition “Redi Whip Laughter” (84x84”). Also floating above 2 tubs of white paint and gesso, “I’m Just Joking,” (below).
Rob and Christian are prolific creators—constantly constructing and deconstructing the surface of their canvas until the right balance of pattern, color, character and support details invigorate the narrative edge to edge. There is no need for empty space in the world according to Clayton. Looking at their work up close, you are quickly immersed in a visual language that amplifies childhood insecurities and curiosities while surface ornamentation presents a bright spectrum of possibility.
Life’s experiences shared between two brothers presents unique, yet individual, interpretations of the same event. However, everything experienced between Rob and Christian is unified in their work. The Clayton Brothers are an important force constantly evolving their shared language of vision. Check out for more and archived articles: Inside Out Madison, Pre-Madison Opening Hang Out and Inside Out Pasadena.

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