Clay Break

For months now I’ve seen pieces on various image and art sites of “The Clay Breaks” as I’ve come to call them in my mind. I finally had some time, and searched the internet to learn more about them.


The image seem to be hosted on some anonymous data dump site, and there is no information about the artist, or the process. In many ways, this has been a recurring topic of my all-time favorite author William Gibson… art that appears out of nowhere, enters the collective consciousness, and then gets tracked to the most unlikely of sources. Just read Pattern Recognition, for instance.

I love these images. I like how the fragile breaking of these Hummelesque figurines undermines the poses of strength – the characters are all in classic Chinese warrior stances.

I’m sorry I’m unable to credit anyone with this work. Please write me should you know who makes these.







The last one is my favorite.

I don’t know the process – are there multiple figurines that the artist makes, and then drops until s/he captures the right image? Are these entirely created as drawings on a computer? Or does the artist hand-break the pieces and then collage them using an editing software?

If I could get prints of these works, I would want them relatively small, and framed ornately, so that they maintain the feeling of the little China dolls they originate from.

One comment

  1. Doug Hill said:

    Hi Yoram:

    How goes it? Hope all is well. These are quite interesting, similar to Martin Klimas: Flowers, now up at Michael Foley’s gallery in NY

    but I think these are conceptually stronger. I have no idea how Klimas does this, although it looks like some sort of explosion is taking place, like Edgerton’s strobe experiments of the ’30s. As I read in the Foley press release

    Klimas uses a spring-loaded projectile that apparently also triggers his shutter and strobes.

    But these Clay Breaks are definitely different. There is new software out, which I unfortunately can’t recall the name of, although we will likely all be using soon, that will run a search of the internet for examples of images perhaps being used without the artist’s knowledge or permission. Theoretically, you could take one of these and perhaps trace its origins to the source. The app became a big topic of discussion on the APA and EP forums when everyone became excited about the Orphan Works bill. I’ll try to do a little digging and will let you know if I unearth anything.

    All the best, Doug

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