David Herrin is an artist who works under the moniker “Made to be Broken” and uses various parts of dead animals which he turns into sculptures. I met David for his first interview, in which he shared his thoughts about his craft, the philosophy behind it and many other things.
Thanatische Manifestationen: Hello, David! First of all, thanks for agreeing to do the interview. For all of those that don't already know you, who are you and what do you do?
David Herrin: Hello! You are very welcome, and thank you for giving me this opportunity. My name is DaVid Herrin, 27 years old and I live in Georgia, located in the southern part of the U.S. I make sculptures and other pieces of art from the remains of dead animals. All my work is cruelty-free, so there are no animals harmed in the making of my art.
TM: When did you found “Made to be Broken“ and why?
DH: “Made to be broken” is a title I've played around with for years, in one form or another. But I feel it describes the work I'm doing in a beautiful, yet sad way. We are all (man and animal) born to eventually die. We are made to be broken. The concept has always fascinated me. My work comes from the broken and I make it up again. I see it as a tribute.
TM: What is your relationship to animals? Is there a deeper connection with them that flows into your art?
DH: I love animals! I have always been an „animal person“. They are just like us, just as unique in personality. When i use an animal for a piece I always try to use as much as possible. I want that animal to go on, in another form but still exist and be seen.
TM: Judging by the titles of your works, there seems to be a kind of background or concept behind some of them – is this correct?
DH: Yes. I try to have everything mean something, even the title of the work. So I do my best to put thought into the concept and final result as much as I do with the construction. Sometimes the title comes along as I build, lol.
TM: Do you see your creations as entirely new pieces of art, or do they remain modified skeletons, most of all? Maybe a bit of both?
DH: I think that I have taken something that was once alive, beautiful, full of life and purpose and made it into something people can further appreciate. It's the same bones and animals but now they have a new life and perspective, as opposed to it rotting away in the earth (which is a natural way of things too, don't get me wrong.)
TM: How are your works assembled? Can you describe the process?
DH: I'm very spontaneous when I work. Sometimes I will have a basic outline of what I'd like to make, but a lot of times its just a matter of putting this bone with that bone, trying different combinations till I see something in it. Some bones just automatically resemble certain things, so that can be built upon.
TM: What does death mean to you and does it fascinate you? If yes, why? Do you think it is possible to see your work from a solely aesthetic viewpoint, in which the fact that these are skeletons of dead creatures plays no role at all?
DH: Death fascinates me to an extent, I would say. But I try not to come off as too morbid of a person, haha. I'd say I'm just as fascinated, if not more, with life, as well. But you can't have one without the other. I think that's important to remember. I'm not a religious or spiritual person, but I value life.
TM: How did you get the idea to create the pieces you create? What was your first one? Were you pleased with the results straight away?
DH: It originated out of a childhood hobby of collecting random bones and turtle shells and the like. I got a decent number up eventually and just for fun decided to build some „Frankenstein“ like creation. Thus was born the “kitty turtle“. I was very happy with the result, but the thought that others would be interested in them didn't come for a few more years, when I posted a few pics of it and got a lot of positive feedback. So, I went to work, lol.
TM: Is there any creation which you hold especially dear?
DH: The kitty turtle, lol. It now resides with a very good friend of mine, and I'm very happy about that.
TM: How do you acquire the animal bodies? Any anecdotes you would like to share?
DH: Many ways, lol. I've had them donated to me, and I found them around the yard, I live in a rural area. But the funniest story would be when some silly hunters killed a buck, sawed its antlers off and dumped it on the side of our road. I went up with my knife, and right there on the side of the road quickly dismembered the poor fellow for his bones, as no less than 3 cars drove by- I can only imagine what they were thinking!!! haha
TM: How are you and your work perceived? Although it is clearly stated that there is absolutely no cruelty involved in your art, I am sure that criticism is directed towards it, every now and then.
DH: I've actually been pretty lucky on that end. I guess because i make such a point up front to say they're all cruelty free. But, I've gotten a few ‚ewwww“‘s and „thats just nasty...“ but nothing too ugly, haha.
TM: Is there any philosophical meaning attached to your art? Reflections about life and death, maybe?
DH: I guess that would depend a lot on the beholder. I try to leave them open for some interpretation. But i see it as a circle that ,as long as preserved, can allow something to exist forever. Bringing joy or whatever it may, long after death.
TM: Are sales important to you? What kind of person do you think the average “Made to be Broken“ customer is?
DH: As I've told everyone, I didn't start this to get rich, lol. I would be making them, and I was, even if no one wanted to buy them. I’d say the average customer is someone like myself, who can see the beauty in what some might call the darker things in life.
TM: Judging from your online activities, there seem to be some ties between you and the splatter film scene. Is that correct? What kind of art do you enjoy, in general?
DH: Oh yes! I am a HUGE supporter of the underground horror scene. It feels like a second family. One of my first official pieces was made for a friend and filmmaker James Bell. I would love to see one of my pieces pop up in an indie horror film (HINT HINT! Haha). Total horror junkie, have been ever since i was a kid.
TM: Thank you for the interview! Any last words?DH: Thank you for giving me this opportunity! I hope i answered all your questions. Just check out my work, im on Facebook Thanks for your support!!!!!! -daVid