Biography

Jacob Clayton is a visual artist who uses photography, video, and mixed media as means to expand the vocabulary that challenges societal expectations and cultural representations of gender identity and expression. His work often chronicles a therapeutic journey through dissociation and the road to gather and assemble reclaimed pieces of a life lived for decades as a closeted transgender man in America.

His work has been exhibited recently in group shows at the St. Louis Artists’ Guild in St. Louis, MO, Monmouth University Center for the Arts in West Long Branch, NJ, The Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, MA, and the United Arts Council in Raleigh, NC.

Jacob is a freelance web and graphic designer, and accomplished musician.

Artist Statement

Words cannot adequately express what it’s like to go through life in the wrong body. The turbulence of confusion, desperation, fear, and isolation creates a sustained trauma from which I had found very little escape. But that all changed when I began to depict the fracture visually.

Gazing into the lens of my own life’s complexities, I’m documenting the double standards, hidden curricula, systemic microaggressions, and profoundly destructive groupthink about gender identity, expression, and expectation – from every side.

In my mixed-media work, I fuse my body with iconic imagery rooted in our collective consciousness. Through these images, I seek to better understand the truths about myself and the world. And to be understood.

Education

2021 | Maine Media Workshops+ College, Professional Certificate in Visual Storytelling
2019 | Cape Fear Community College
1989-1991 | Tufts University

Group Exhibitions

2021

It Was All Very Queer, St. Louis Artists’ Guild, St. Louis, MO | Juror: Brendan Fernandes (catalogue)
Member Exhibit, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

2020

6th Annual Group Show, Davis Orton Gallery, Hudson, NY | Juror: Paula Tognarelli
PROUD+, The Studio Door, San Diego, CA | Juror: Hunter O’Hanian (catalogue)
Black and White, Colors of Humanity Art Gallery, Everett, PA |Juror: Janelle Cogan
CFCC Art Show, Wilma W. Daniels Gallery, Wilmington, NC | Juror: Bob Unchester
A Photography Collective, Waterline Brewing, Wilmington, NC | Juror: Cape Fear Community College Photo Dept.
Access and Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion, Monmouth University Center for the Arts, West Long Branch, NJ | Juror: Monmouth University Art Department

2019
Member Exhibit, The Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA
Personal Narrative, PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, VT | Juror: Ralph Hassenpflug (catalogue)
Depth of Field, United Arts Council, Raleigh, NC | Juror: VAE
Art of the Image ’19, Art in Bloom Gallery, Wilmington, NC | Juror: Beth Handler Riebe
Member Exhibit, Sweet Nectar Gallery, Leland, NC | Juror: Cape Fear Camera Club
CFCC Art Show, Wilma W. Daniels Gallery, Wilmington, NC | Juror: Amy Grant

Bibliography

It was All Very Queer, exhibition catalogue, June 2021.
OUR STATE MAGAZINE, publication of photograph “Cybele”, April 2021. 134.
PORTALS MAGAZINE, publication of photograph “In My Skin”, spring 2020. 81.
PROUD+, exhibition catalogue, July 2020. 29-30.
PERSONAL NARRATIVE, exhibition catalogue, September 2019. 54.

Related Work Experience

2010-Present | Owner, MyUntangled® Media, LLC
1988-2004 | Music Director, Composer, Instrumentalist, and Teacher