cameron clayborn Private Property
Morán Morán is pleased to present a solo exhibition of cameron clayborn’s new work in the artist’s ﬁrst exhibition at our Los Angeles gallery. Titled Private Property, this show presents a range of sculptural works, some fabric relief and others free standing, where clayborn has expanded their material language to include dyed wax, found objects, and personal iconography. Through various forms, the artist confronts the inherent tension that grows between one’s self evolution and their familial past.
The show’s title takes root in the recent loss of the artist’s grandparents home located in Malvern, Arkansas. Built in the late 1940s with scrap lumber pieces, the house was later renovated in 1972 by clayborn’s grandfather and great grandfather, who each worked at the local brickyard. Together, they raised a decorative lattice-type structure along the house’s facade which leads to the entrance. In the work titled, callus #1, clayborn remakes the brick wall through a tedious process of image transfer and sewing together each “brick” to arrive at its ﬁnal composition, the result is a soft assemblage resembling a shedded skin mournfully removed.
With a large multifaceted sculpture that claims its own space in the gallery, titled family portrait (with you, against you, away from you), clayborn both mocks and assesses the event of the family portrait. In this piece, the artist stages a group of abstract ﬁgures, some placed on stools turned into pedestals, in a hierarchal structure, each subtly representing a member of a family with traditional roles based on gender and age. Regardless of proximity, each form is attached to the other through a cord that travels in and out of each ﬁgure – while a disconnection is shown as a smaller form seems to balance on a skinny pedestal isolated from the rest by a sheer, dark skrim.
In a series of three wall-based works, clayborn titles “reliquaries”, are fabric sculptural reliefs that use the same brick formation as callus #1, but here they take on aspects of vessels rather than facades. Reliquaries house sacred objects, however the artist’s versions hold memories and secrets; sacred and valuable on their own, they also present a dilemma between relinquishing or holding on, what to share and what to hide. These works wholly embrace imperfections as visible seams present what the artist calls a “folded paradox.” Symbolically speaking, the “reliquaries” embrace imperfections and acknowledge human fallibility.
Serving as reminders that our memories are neither pristine nor kind, the dyed parafﬁn wax based series of pieces titled “Lullaby” and “a belt” stand as triumphs over what we withhold. Lullabies are fantastical songs, often sung while alone, to quell the anxieties of a new found parent. In this way, clayborn sees them as forms that soothe their fears towards an unforeseen future. Each sculpture is literally free standing, revealing itself down to the bone. The belt works are in clayborn’s words, “aggressions toward the aggressor.” The works appear still hot from their formation and now cold, fragile, and brittle as the experience itself.