Clay Wagstaff (LA)


Clay Wagstaff (LA) Biography

Clay Wagstaff composes his pieces mathematically using the Fibonacci series and the principles of dynamic symmetry, an ideology Leonardo DaVinci immortalized with his Golden Section, to set the ideal proportions. Above his deliberate interpretation of nature, Wagstaff paints skies using wide layered brushstrokes of moody and emotive color. Below the sweeping skies one discovers his talent for painting minutiae. He pays meticulous attention to nature’s details putting life and energy into every patch of moss, puff of sea foam, and tree branch.

Emotion and calmness, rigid formulation and energetic movement; the powerful dichotomies in Wagstaff’s work reflect nature and the universe. He often allows the sketch lines to show in his finished paintings and explains, “I want to create the feeling of another dimension, that there is a design behind the physical world, that there’s a blueprint or spiritual design behind everything.”

An ambiguity of scale and the occasional use of limited perspective add a sense of otherworldliness and curiosity to the list of emotions evoked by his work; knowing that there is more that could be seen adds tension and complexity to the pieces. Wagstaff reminds us of the limits inherent to our humanity and demonstrates that our inability to know everything can add beauty and interest to our existence.

Clay Wagstaff’s work has been shown at museums and galleries in California, Nevada, Texas and Utah. His work is part of permanent collections at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Time Warner, Delta and Continental Airlines, Fidelity Investments, Wellington Management, Deloitte and Touche, and the US Department of State. His paintings have been reviewed in Art in America. Wagstaff holds a BFA from Brigham Young University and MFA from California State University at Long Beach. Wagstaff lives and works in Tropic Utah, a remote town of less than 500 residents. He paints from sketches and refers to photographs he takes near his home and on his extensive travels.