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Art Illustration

Vintage Illustrations of Flora and Fauna Are Superimposed into Surreal Portraits by MUMI

October 19, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © MUMI, shared with permission

Feathers, flowers, leaves, and the human muscular system are spliced into an eclectic camouflage in MUMI’s surreal portraits. From vintage encyclopedias, magazines, and art historical paintings, the Argentinian artist cuts and layers images into compositions that vacillate between the whimsical and the bizarre. Led by a larger narrative, the collages commingle styles, eras, colors, and textures into disorienting portraits, all spurred by the artist’s desire to experiment. “I truly enjoy the organic process in which I let myself go freely,” MUMI shares. “There are endless possibilities when I cut an image. I take it out of its context, its direct meaning, or its origin, and I give it a new surreal environment.”

Prints are available from Society6, and you can find an archive of her fantastic works on Instagram.

 

 

 

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Art

Plastic Bottle Caps Bound by Thread Undulate Across Ghizlane Sahli’s Embroidered Sculptures

October 12, 2022

Grace Ebert

“MOM014” (2020), silk threads on plastic and metal, 117 x 200 x 38 centimeters. Images courtesy of the artist, shared with permission

Echoing coral, cells, and the contours of the female body, Ghizlane Sahli stitches sculptural embroideries that curve and arch in shapely forms. The voluptuous works are part of what the Marrakech-based artist terms The Aveoles, a series made from plastic bottle caps interlaced with thread. With a background in architecture, Sahli shares that she “is always concerned by space and volume,” two components that manifest in myriad ways throughout her three-dimensional works.

The salvaged caps nestle into dense patches covered in silk and wool, adding texture and depth to the overall works and referencing the inherent relationship between the individual and the whole. “It is the atom that constitutes the substances. It is the cell whose accumulation creates the matter,” Sahli tells Colossal, noting that she finds the repetition of washing, stitching, and assembling her works meditative and trance-like.

“I also have the feeling that each waste comes from a previous life with its own energy. The final artwork is made with the accumulation of all the energies of the different waste and has its own soul.” This idea of gathering proliferates Sahli’s practice, and she often works in collaboration with women in her community who utilize ancestral embroidery techniques, translating the traditional, localized methods into contemporary contexts with universal themes of preservation and vitality.

Sahli was recently named a winner in The Spirit of Ecstasy Challenge, which will be touring internationally in the coming months. For more of the artist’s textile-based work, visit her site and Instagram.

 

“Exceptions from Africa.” Image courtesy of Nohan Feireira

“MOM003” (2020), silk threads on plastic and metal, 85 x 116 x 26 centimeters

“MOMS001” (2020), silk and wool yarn on plastic and metal, 60 x 25 x 20 centimeters

“MOM010” (2020), silk and wool yarn on plastic and metal, 110 x 103 x 30 centimeters

Left: “HT026” (2018), silk threads on plastic and metal, 183 x 122 x 30 centimeters. Image courtesy of David Bloch Gallery. Right: “HTV005” (2019). Image courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum

“Nissa’s Rina” (2022). Image @ Adnane Zemmama

“Embroideries on Paper” (2021), 28 x 4 centimeters

 

 



History Illustration Science

Six Centuries, 700 Scientists, 300 Groundbreaking Milestones: A New Book Examines the Invaluable History of Science Illustrations

October 10, 2022

Grace Ebert

Sagittal section of the body of a male; An Atlas of Topographical Anatomy: After Plane Sections of Frozen Bodies, Christian Wilhelm Braune, Philadelphia, 1877 © Courtesy US National Library of Medicine. All images courtesy Taschen

From medicine and biology to chemistry and astronomy, a massive new book published by Taschen chronicles the unparalleled contributions of illustrations to scientific study. Compiling more than 300 distinct charts, renderings, and graphs within its 436 pages, the volume opens with early developments like Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation and Nicolaus Copernicus’s heliocentrism, which positioned the sun at the center of the solar system. It then travels throughout the following six centuries, capturing everything from the use of anesthesia and zoological studies to current-day renderings of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. In addition to the illustrations themselves, the book also details how such visuals continue to impact both the theories and principles that are the foundation for scientific discovery and the general public’s conceptions of how the world works.

Science Illustration. A History of Visual Knowledge from the 15th Century to Today is available now from Taschen and Bookshop.

 

“A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2”, an ultra-high-resolution computer model gives scientists a look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe, Goddard Space Flight Center’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, NASA, 2014. Image © NASA

A slice of the lower part of the root of horseradish cut transversely, An Idea of a Phytological History Propounded, Nehemiah Grew, London, 1673 © ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Rar 6191

Spectra of the stars and nebulae, ‘Spectrum Analysis,’ Henry E. Roscoe, London, 1885. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Libraries, Washington, D.C.

Application of anesthesia, ‘Illustrations of Strange Diseases and Their Surgical Treatments,’ Hanaoka Seishū, 1805, illustrated by Tangetsu. Image courtesy US National Library of Medicine

Montgolfier balloon carrying the Marquis d’Arlandes and M. Pilatre de Rozier, Paris, 1783 © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Tissandier Collection

 

 



Art

Anatomical Paintings by Lily Mixe Connect Flora and Fauna Through Textured Motifs

October 7, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Curious Collection” (2022), acrylic paint on wooden box assemblage, 33 x 31.5 centimeters. All images © Lily Mixe, courtesy of Saatchi Gallery, shared with permission

In The Butterfly Effect, French artist Lily Mixe illustrates the textured patterns of beetles, shells, cells, and birds through stark black and white. Working in acrylic on found wooden boxes and furniture panels, Mixe accentuates the lush motifs of scales, branches, or feathers in renderings devoid of color. Each work juxtaposes the artist’s elegant graphic style against the worn backdrops, which reflect a past of human intervention through splattered paint, scratches, and printed text. Whether presented as symmetric tableaus as in “Dragon Flying Birds” or an anatomical assemblage of flora and fauna in “Curious Collection,” the specimens detail the similarities and interconnected nature of all earthly life.

The Butterfly Effect, which will feature an on-site mural, opens on November 3 at Saatchi Gallery in London. Until then, find more of Mixe’s works on Instagram and her site.

 

“Bird of Pray” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 40 x 27.5 centimeters

“Fauna and Flora” (2022), collage on a wooden box, 42.5 x 28.5 centimeters

“Cuckoo Bee On A Platter” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 35 x 25 centimeters

“Dragon Flying Birds” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 106 x 30 centimeters

“No Feather Left Behind” (2022), acrylic paint on a wooden box, 57 x 27.5 centimeters

 

 



Art Craft

Vessels of Woven Copper Wire by Sally Blake Mimic the Patterns of Natural Lifeforms

August 18, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Sally Blake, shared with permission

From her studio in Canberra, Australian artist Sally Blake (previously) twists and plaits copper wire into baskets and sculptures evocative of the organic matter ubiquitous around the planet. Seed pods, sprawling networks of bulbous pockets and thin, sinuous veins, and mammalian bronchial systems emerge from the malleable material, and through intricately woven motifs, Blake accentuates the tension between delicacy and resilience inherent to natural life. “Visualisation of the natural laws and patterning that hold people in relationship with Earth, as well as the consequences of these unravelling, is my focus,” she tells Colossal. “I feel deeply about disconnections in human understanding and care of the natural world, which result in environmental crises”

Currently, Blake is working on metallic vessels for a solo show opening on October 20 at Canberra’s Grainger Gallery, in addition to sculptures for a group exhibition in Sydney later this fall. She has a few baskets, in addition to stitched pieces and other two-dimensional works, available in her shop, and you can follow her latest projects—which include drawing all of the world’s owl species—on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art

Human Ears and Animals Emerge from Dense Fields of Porcelain Foliage Sculpted by Melis Buyruk

August 5, 2022

Grace Ebert

“Habitat” (2021), porcelain, 18k gold, 101 x 101 x 10 centimeters. All images courtesy of Leila Heller, shared with permission

Cradled within wooden boxes, leaves, blossoms, animals, and the occasional bit of human anatomy form the dense topographies of Melis Buyruk (previously). The Turkish artist blends various organic elements into sprawling, monochromatic works made of porcelain that are mesmerizing in intricacy with slightly unearthly undertones. In multiple recent works like the “Blooming Light” and “Golden Bloom,” for example, a single ear appears amidst the mosses and foliage, embedding the fragmented human body part within the largely floral ecosystem.

The works shown here are included in Buyruk’s solo show titled Habitat: Bloom, which is on view through September 2 at Leila Heller. Visit her Instagram for a peek into her studio and process.

 

“Nature’s Rhythm” (2022), porcelain, 18k gold, 196 x 196 centimeters

“Blooming Light” (2022), porcelain, 18k gold decorated lightbox, 100 x 100 x 12 centimeters

Detail of “Blooming Tales” (2022), porcelain, 22k gold decorated lightbox, 120 x 120 x 12 centimeters

“Sparrow’s Habitat” (2021), porcelain, 18k gold, 100 x 100 x 15 centimeters

“Golden Bloom” (2022), porcelain, 18k gold decorated, 115 x 115 x 15 centimeters

“Blooming Tales” (2022), porcelain, 22k gold decorated lightbox, 120 x 120 x 12 centimeters

 

 

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