The Broken Art Pieces, in porcelain, by Bouke de Vries

Breaking porcelain in order to customize bits and pieces, such is the magical formula of Bouke de Vries, a Dutch artist who « explodes » his works.

Born in Utrecht, Dutch artist Bouke de Vries has dedicated several thematics to ceramics and its customisation. He uses his restorer competences so that his « exploded pieces » continue living after their accident. For him, a broken object can be converted into a work of art in its own right, just like the Venus of Milo is venerated despite the complete loss of her arms.

The broken porcelains of Bouke de Vries

In his hands, an object, a plate, a vase, a cup or a tea pot are broken according to a method named « the beauty of destruction ». Thus, Bouke de Vries attributes their status, virtues and values that change their story thanks to outside elements.

Bouke de Vries map of Netherlands and China
Meticulously reconstituted, the maps of the Netherlands and China faithfully respect their geographic shapes. © DR
Bouke de Vries porcelains peacock and vase
Here, the peacock fluffs his feathers and a porcelain vase retrieves its shapes inside another glass vase. © DR

A second artistic life

As an echo to paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries from his Dutch heritage, especially those of the Golden Age, the spaces between the fragments become an essential part of the structure, and the object, initially with a household vocation, sometimes takes on a cubist shape. Each one is transformed into a still life to live a second time, and can be oriented towards a new artistic destination…

Bouke de Vries at the museum
War & Pieces is one of the works that Bouke de Vries installed in the reception rooms of the Berrington Hall Museum, in the United Kingdom. © DR

A second life and arty recycling of ceramic