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Clayton Keyes

Born: Oklahoma, U.S.

Clayton Keyes is a ceramic sculptor who was born in Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Tulsa with an MFA in 2011. He is the head of the Ceramics Department at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Keyes describes his work as one as stemming from “a lifetime spent exploring the human form. This provides for my fascination with it as subject and for my interest in the psyche within it.” He investigates the human figure in order to trigger ambiguous emotional responses in the viewer:

“Ultimately, my pursuit of exploring and portraying the emotions elicited by strife and oppression come from an urge to impress upon the viewer the experiences of the oppressed and to draw from them empathy for such. The duality of my feelings about humanity are mirrored in my treatment of the form. Just as I strive to imbue figures with narratives and emotions that may be difficult to confront, I equally strive to make the rendering of the figure visually stimulating and even alluring. This creates the effect of simultaneous attraction and repulsion, which causes mixed emotions within the viewer. My wish is for the viewer to be confronted with and experience this conflict, as it is this conflict that allows me to indelibly affect them.”

For more information on Clayton Keyes, visit, from which this profile was adapted.