From Picasso to The End: 10 Questions for Emily Clayton


1 comment

We've loved having Emily Clayton as Country Life's artist of the month for February.

In case you missed previous posts by/about her ... we introduced her, posted pictures from a studio visit, she curated a post of her favorite Tumblr sites, and she gave us a mixtape of tracks she listens to while she works.

For her final post, Emily answered 10 questions that I borrowed from ArtInfo's excellent questionnaire.

Read on for Emily's thoughts on Nashville art, her favorite exhibits, and the time she watched two people make out in a museum.

What's the last show that you saw?

Vesna Pavlovic, Search for Landscapes at Zeitgeist

What's the last show that surprised you? Why?

Jonathan Paul Gillette surprises me, like the photo of him bitch-riding a Harley from his show at COOP. I love the way he describes his encounters.

Bitch-Riding a Harley, Jonathan Paul Gillette
  • "Bitch-Riding a Harley," Jonathan Paul Gillette

What's your favorite place to see art in Nashville?

Somewhere between the Stieglitz Collection at Fisk and shows at The End. I enjoy seeing friends' bands play. When I was 13 my Uncle Roger took me to Fisk, and I was completely overwhelmed when I saw Tête de femme by Picasso. It’s tiny for a Picasso, only about 12x14, but it didn’t matter. I had been to New York on a school trip the year before and spent an entire day at the Met searching for a freaking Picasso. I never found the modern wing. So this being my first encounter with my childhood love, it was significant.

Where are you finding ideas for your work these days?

People, photography, history.

Do you collect anything?


What's the weirdest thing you ever saw happen in a museum or gallery?

I saw Tino Sehgal’s "Kiss" performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Two performers were situated on the fourth floor of the museum amongst a show of paintings from the MCA’s permanent collection. They cycle through a routine of choreographed movements ... embracing, rolling around on the floor, kissing one another. All the movements are based on historical works of art that involve a kiss. It felt sexy, casual, slowed down, and I like that. The performers were dressed in everyday clothing so it seemed as if two museum patrons had spontaneously decided to make out. I felt like I was watching a hazy movie montage that would later culminate in good sex and a happily-ever-after.

Later when I found out more about Sehgal’s work I thought it was interesting that he doesn’t “allow” documentation of the performances, and when a work is sold to an institution or collector there is no tangible document or deed. Everything is done through a verbal exchange. If what Sehgal is attempting to do is create situations that generate conversation, he pulls it off nicely.

From Kiss, Tino Sehgal
  • From "Kiss," Tino Sehgal

What's your art-world pet peeve?

Can’t say I have a particular one.

Do you have a gallery/museum-going routine?

To see as much as possible in Nashville.

What's the last great book you read?

I just finished I Love Dick by Chris Kraus.

What work of art do you wish you owned?

A toss up between Jeff Koons' Michael Jackson and Bubbles and the Picasso I mentioned.

Michael Jackson and Bubbles, Jeff Koons
  • "Michael Jackson and Bubbles," Jeff Koons


Showing 1-1 of 1


Add a comment