Like so many other known superhumans, Alonzo Clemons’s stunning abilities appeared when he was only a child.
This childhood prodigy turned gifted sculptor has definitely lived up to his superhuman title, from creating beautiful pieces that sold for as much as $45,000 to being featured in a documentary on the human brain called Beautiful Minds: A Voyage Into The Brain.
Though he is most famous for the life-sized sculptures of a horse, his abilities go far beyond those of your standard artist.
Alonzo Clemons was born in 1958 in Boulder, Colorado.
Early History of Alonzo Clemons
Like many other savants, Alonzo Clemons suffered a severe brain injury when he was very young, but there had been hints of his gift even before that.
His mother, Evelyn Clemons, would later go on to say that he had been trying to sculpt since he was just a toddler, but she hadn’t noticed what he was doing at the time.
When he was just three years old, he fell and suffered a brain injury. The head injury left him severely disabled, with his IQ dropping to the mid-40s, but it also amplified his astounding artistic abilities: his family realized early on that he had a gift for creating sculptures with awe-inspiring accuracy.
She recognized his gifts early on, but due to his disabilities, she was afraid he would never fit in or find acceptance in the artistic community.
He began sculpting for real when he reached school age. During class, he would find a spot in the very back of the room and create detailed figurines out of the clay he had brought with him. If a teacher came over and confiscated the clay for being a distraction, he scraped tar off the pavement around campus and took it home with him, using the pliable material to create his sculptures during the night.
You could take his clay, but you could not take his determination to create.
What is his Superpower?
Clemons doesn’t need to study a model for hours in order to create his lifelike works of art. After just a few seconds of looking at a two-dimensional picture of an animal, he can make an incredibly accurate three-dimensional sculpture of it within an hour.
According to his mother, it takes him only 30 minutes to make a miniature version of an animal he sees on television– everything from horses all the way to sharks.
Many scientists think that this is a form of photographic memory. When Clemons sculpts, he uses the mental picture of the animal in question as a reference, which is easy for him to replicate with his sense of touch.
In fact, his sense of touch is so developed that he can create his perfect sculptures even in the dark! Early on, everything he created was made using photographs as a reference, which gave his work an empty, still quality, but all this changed when he started to visit the animals in purpose.
Interestingly enough, as his sculptures grew more lifelike, his own disabilities seemed to lessen. He started to talk, began power lifting, and developed a better ability to be able to look after himself.
What Can We Learn From Him?
Alonzo Clemons is proof that some people are born with the capacity to create amazing things, and in many cases, it’s their creativity that seems to sustain them.
From hoarding Play-Dough as a toddler to scraping tar off the pavement when he had no other materials, Clemens knew deep down that he had to create. And, in the end, building upon his creative abilities made him an all-around more capable person, too.
What Is He Currently Doing?
In recent years, Clemons’s vocabulary has grown leaps and bounds, he has developed more independence, and he is more comfortable with putting himself (and his artwork) out there for others to appreciate.
His art was recently on display in the Art of Life Gallery in Santa Fe, participates in the Special Olympics (power lifting), and continues to make and sell his awe-inspiring artwork of everything from wax to copper, which he sells online.
Videos and Links
Ingenious Minds- Sculpting Prodigy
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