Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cartoon Skeletons

"Hello Kitty", Michael Paulus

"Betty Boop", Michael Paulus

"Marvin the Martian", Michael Paulus

"B11 (Mus Animatus)", Hyungkoo Lee

"Geococcyx Animatus", Hyungkoo Lee

"Anas Animatus", Hyungkoo Lee

Michael Paulus' "Skeletal Systems" figure study of 22 cartoon characters has been around for a while - since 1998, in fact - and I've always considered it one of the, if not the, coolest and most novel take on the concept of anatomical analysis I've ever seen. Along with the characters pictured above, the series includes dissections of Pikachu, Charlie Brown, and the Powerpuff Girls - all of them, I might add, conforming to the precise anatomical requirements of their owners. On top of the tremendous novelty factor already present in this concept, I also find it highly amusing that Paulus has chosen to present his work in the way that he has, with semi-transparent overlays on top of parchment paper, in the style of a 19th C. medical textbook insert. Seriously, how cool is that?

Taking a cue from Paulus, Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee goes a step further with the concept of "cartoon skeleton" and actually builds the damn things, out of resin and aluminum. His series, called "Animatus", is currently featured in installation at the Arario Gallery in Seoul until October 8th, but luckily for anyone not currently living in Korea, the gallery has put up an in-depth video (Quicktime) taking a look not only at the installation itself, but also at Lee's process in designing and constructing the skeletons, apparently working from his lab\studio housed within the gallery itself.

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