Clayton was an intrepid world traveler and multimedia artist with a rare and vibrant version of reality. He turned this vision into unique collages which he then hid within a vast book collection for safekeeping—a secret vault that was only discovered after his death. Perhaps it was his way of speaking his inner mind.
Clay studied and enjoyed traditional art, embraced natural realism, flew into the arms of modern art, and then found his own Pop Art wings. His inherent love of found objects led him to appropriation, collage, and box-assemblage works similar to those of artist Joseph Cornell.
Although Clay's still-life oil paintings were exhibited in Ireland and Finland, the collages and other artwork contained in his biography were not created with the intention of being viewed. Within the pages of Butterflies, Scarabs and Secrets you may catch a glimpse of his world—and the creations that came into being as a result of the obstacles he faced.
"After...we discovered his hidden trove of art...we were shocked at what we had missed, but not at all surprised by the bright colors tangled with purpose and intent, the playful inventiveness, the ease of complexity in all his pieces." (from Butterflies, Scarabs and Secrets)
"Clay's genius was evident from the time we met...He has had a strong influence in my life as an artist and as a person." —Stefano Gaudiano, Illustrator, artist, inker: Marvel Comics, Warner Bros., Universal Studios.
The above rows illustrate four of the seven boxes that recently were featured by the Longmont Council for the Arts, Muse Art Gallery exhibit. Clay's assemblage box-art was also featured in the September-December 2014 issue of Art Enthusiast, the official publication of Arts Longmont.