Clayton Merrell

Region: Northeast

Website: http://artscool.cfa.cmu.edu/~merrell/

City / State: Pittsburgh, PA

I try to make paintings that are like frozen light, or like chunks torn from vision itself.

They are nods to an outdated, quasi-religious attitude about the "American Sublime".

I want them to be both awkwardly physical and placidly transcendent.

I make these things because making them is a joy.

It goes along like this: I hand-carve a wooden panel, apply many layers of homemade glue gesso and thick red gilder's clay, burnish the clay with an agate stone, painstakingly lay on gold leaf, burnish the gold until it glows, then paint on the colored pigments mixed with egg yolk.

I try to pay attention - so that I can stop only when they are ravishingly luminous, spatially contradictory, and as mysterious as they are obvious, as playful as they are serious.