Nila Clayton (1924-1991)
American School


23½ x 15 inches
Watercolor applied with airbrush and splatters on watercolor paper and mylar

Signed and dated in longhand lower right: in black ink: “Nila ‘84”
and signed on verso in pencil “ Nila ‘84”

Nila’s THE CHARADE OF APOLLO utilizes mixed media in the portrayal of a vibrant, dynamic mask fit for the sun goddess herself. The curvilinear eyes and sensually pursed lips provide contrast to the sharp black whiskers protruding out from the face. 

The artist was known only by a single name. Her prolific career in the arts commenced with her ten years in film design with MGM, as well as designing sets for Broadway theater. Her visionary work continued with the production of her own company, “Studio of Design,” but perhaps her most compelling and well-known creation is the design of Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade.

Nila’s paintings often feature expressive children and captivating flowers, or sophisticated patterns reflective of her career. There exists a dreamlike essence to her body of work that eclipses the simple decorative elements. Her work carries forth her soulful devotion to the arts. 

THE CHARADE OF APOLLO is so named after the androgynous god of the sun, music, poetry, arts, and more. The splatters of watercolor paints and airbrush marks add even further vitality to the mask. Moreover, the scintillating intensity speaks to the fiery soul in each of us. Nila’s passion and ingenuity truly shines in THE CHARADE OF APOLLO.