More often considered a sculptor than a ceramist, New York based artist Mary Frank utilizes the sculptural tradition of the monumental figure. Running Man is one of the most anatomically complex of her figures and is unusual in that it depicts the male body rather than the female. Frank's work centers on human vulnerability. The fragility of clay, which she began using in 1969 after a divorce from her first husband, reminds the viewer of the frailty of the human body and psyche. Frank also prefers clay because she claims it is spontaneous, flesh-like, and connected to the earth. Frank states that her use of separate, broken figures as seen in Running Man represents the sadness, anxiety, and fear she experienced after the death of her daughter in 1974.