Anatomy the Beautiful

I love anatomical drawing.  It all started with Slim Goodbody, that fabulously strange science guy and his kids show in the 80s.  Does anybody remember him?  He had a ridiculuous spandex outfit and spewed out all types of rhymes about the body.  Guess what he did to stay in shape?  Swim!

Slim Goodbody wore it so well

Slim Goodbody wore it so well

When I was in college, I took life drawing and fell in love.  The class rotated between quick, two minute poses and two hour poses.  It was so fun to experiment with these different limatations.  Sometimes a sketch would be whimsical, capturing the feeling of the pose.  At other times, there would be opportunity for detail, and every shadow and freckle would be captured.  This studying helped me to understand human form.  It helped me to see the contours of different bodies and to more fully contemplate how to adorn them. 

Since my days of sitting in the classroom, I have focused more on the 3-D.  However, I enjoy the work of others.   Alexander Grey is one of my favorite artists.  His work is both contemplative and scientific.  It explores the interplay of anatomical and spiritual forces.  His paintings depict people going through such rites of passage as birth and death.

Alex Grey's depiction of a kiss. 

Alex Grey's depiction of a kiss. 

Traditional Medicine is another place where you can find really cool anatomical models and artwork.  I love this wooden model from China circa 17th century.  It depicts the energy meridians in the body through which chi flows.  It also shows where to apply acupuncture needles.  This sculpture walks the line of beauty and grit for me.

An ancient Chinese sculpture

An ancient Chinese sculpture

Artist Lisa Nilsson takes a microscopic look at human anatomy.  Using Japanese paper, she constructs models of tissues and organs.  Each section of paper is rolled into a small and cylindrical shape like a pin or a drill bit. They are then arranged together in a collection to construct the larger image.  The artist even constructs the boxes that the pieces are place in upon completion.

 

 
Tissue Project by Lisa Nilsson

Tissue Project by Lisa Nilsson