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  • As a lover of human anatomy,

  • I'm so excited that we're finally putting our bodies at the center of focus.

  • Through practices such as preventive medicine,

  • patient empowerment

  • and self-monitoring --

  • down to now obsessing over every single step we take in a day.

  • All of this works to promote

  • a healthy connection between ourselves and our bodies.

  • Despite all this focus on the healthy self,

  • general public knowledge of the anatomical self is lacking.

  • Many people don't know the location of their vital organs,

  • or even how they function.

  • And that's because human anatomy

  • is a difficult and time-intensive subject to learn.

  • How many of you here made it through anatomy?

  • Wow, good --

  • most of you are in medicine.

  • I, like you, spent countless hours memorizing hundreds of structures.

  • Something no student of anatomy could do without the help of visuals.

  • Because at the end of the day,

  • whether you remember every little structure or not,

  • these medical illustrations are what makes studying anatomy so intriguing.

  • In looking at them,

  • we're actually viewing a manual of our very selves.

  • But what happens when we're done studying?

  • These beautiful illustrations are then shut back

  • into the pages of a medical textbook,

  • or an app,

  • referenced only when needed.

  • And for the public,

  • medical illustrations may only be encountered passively

  • on the walls of a doctor's office.

  • From the beginnings of modern medicine,

  • medical illustration,

  • and therefore anatomy,

  • have existed primarily within the realm of medical education.

  • Yet there's something fascinating happening right now.

  • Artists are breaking anatomy out of the confines of the medical world

  • and are thrusting it into the public space.

  • For the past nine years, I have been cataloguing and sharing

  • this rise in anatomical art with the public --

  • all from my perspective as a medical illustrator.

  • But before I get into showing you how artists are reclaiming anatomy today,

  • it's important to understand how art influenced anatomy in the past.

  • Now, anatomy is by its very nature a visual science,

  • and the first anatomists to understand this lived during the Renaissance.

  • They relied on artists

  • to help advertise their discoveries to their peers in the public.

  • And this drive to not only teach but also to entertain

  • resulted in some of the strangest anatomical illustrations.

  • Anatomy was caught in a struggle between science, art and culture

  • that lasted for over 500 years.

  • Artists rendered dissected cadavers as alive,

  • posed in these humorous anatomical stripteases.

  • Imagine seeing that in your textbooks today.

  • They also showed them as very much dead --

  • unwillingly stripped of their skin.

  • Disembodied limbs were often posed in literal still lives.

  • And some illustrations even included pop culture references.

  • This is Clara,

  • a famous rhinoceros that was traveling Europe in the mid-1700s,

  • at a time when seeing a rhino was an exciting rarity.

  • Including her in this illustration was akin to celebrity sponsorship today.

  • The introduction of color

  • then brought a whole new depth and clarity to anatomy

  • that made it stunning.

  • By the early 20th century,

  • the perfect balance of science and art had finally been struck

  • with the emergence of medical illustrators.

  • They created a universal representation of anatomy --

  • something that was neither alive nor dead,

  • that was free from those influences of artistic culture.

  • And this focus on no-frills accuracy

  • was precisely for the benefit of medical education.

  • And this is what we get to study from today.

  • But why is it that medical illustration --

  • both past and present --

  • captures our imaginations?

  • Now, we are innately tuned into the beauty of the human body.

  • And medical illustration is still art.

  • Nothing can elicit an emotional response --

  • from joy to complete disgust --

  • more than the human body.

  • And today,

  • artists armed with that emotion,

  • are grasping anatomy from the medical world,

  • and are reinvigorating it through art in the most imaginative ways.

  • A perfect example of this is Spanish contemporary artist Fernando Vicente.

  • He takes 19th century anatomical illustrations of the male body

  • and envelops them in a female sensuality.

  • The women in his paintings taunt us to view beyond their surface anatomy,

  • thereby introducing a strong femininity

  • that was previously lacking in the history of anatomical representation.

  • Artistry can also be seen in the repair and recovery of the human body.

  • This is an X-ray of a woman who fractured and dislocated her ankle

  • in a roller-skating accident.

  • As a tribute to her trauma,

  • she commissioned Montreal-based architect Federico Carbajal

  • to construct a wire sculpture of her damaged lower leg.

  • Now, notice those bright red screws magnified in the sculpture.

  • These are the actual surgical screws used in reconstructing her ankle.

  • It's medical hardware that's been repurposed as art.

  • People often ask me how I choose the art that I showcase online

  • or feature in gallery shows.

  • And for me it's a balance between the technique

  • and a concept that pushes the boundaries of anatomy as a way to know thyself,

  • which is why the work of Michael Reedy struck me.

  • His serious figure drawings are often layered in elements of humor.

  • For instance, take a look at her face.

  • Notice those red marks.

  • Michael manifests the consuming insecurity of a skin condition

  • as these maniacal cartoon monsters

  • annoying and out of control in the background.

  • On the mirrored figure,

  • he renders the full anatomy

  • and covers it in glitter,

  • making it look like candy.

  • By doing this,

  • Michael downplays the common perception of anatomy

  • so closely tied to just disease and death.

  • Now, this next concept might not make much sense,

  • but human anatomy is no longer limited to humans.

  • When you were a child,

  • did you ever wish that your toys could come to life?

  • Well, Jason Freeny makes those dreams come true

  • with his magical toy dissections.

  • (Laughter)

  • One might think that this would bring a morbid edge

  • to one's innocent childhood characters,

  • but Jason says of his dissections,

  • "One thing I've never seen in a child's reaction to my work is fear."

  • It's always wonder,

  • amazement

  • and wanting to explore.

  • Fear of anatomy and guts is a learned reaction.

  • This anatomization also extends to politically and socially charged objects.

  • In Noah Scalin's "Anatomy of War,"

  • we see a gun dissected to reveal human organs.

  • But if you look closely,

  • you'll notice that it lacks a brain.

  • And if you keep looking, you might also notice

  • that Noah has so thoughtfully placed the rectum

  • at the business end of that gun barrel.

  • Now, this next artist I've been following for many years,

  • watching him excite the public about anatomy.

  • Danny Quirk is a young artist

  • who paints his subjects in the process of self-dissection.

  • He bends the rules of medical illustration

  • by inserting a very dramatic light and shadow.

  • And this creates a 3-D illusion

  • that lends itself very well to painting directly on the human skin.

  • Danny makes it look as if a person's skin has actually been removed.

  • And this effect --

  • also cool and tattoo-like --

  • easily transitions into a medical illustration.

  • Now Danny is currently traveling the world,

  • teaching anatomy to the public via his body paintings,

  • which is why it was so shocking to find out

  • that he was rejected from medical illustration programs.

  • But he's doing just fine.

  • Then there are artists

  • who are extracting anatomy from both the medical world and the art world

  • and are placing it directly on the streets.

  • London-based SHOK-1 paints giant X-rays of pop culture icons.

  • His X-rays show how culture can come to have an anatomy of its own,

  • and conversely how culture can become part of the anatomy of a person.

  • You come to admire his work

  • because reproducing X-rays by hand, let alone with spray paint,

  • is extremely difficult.

  • But then again this is a street artist,

  • who also happens to hold a degree in applied chemistry.

  • Nychos, an Austrian street artist,

  • takes the term "exploded view" to a whole new level,

  • splattering human and animal dissections on walls all over the world.

  • Influenced by comics and heavy metal,

  • Nychos inserts a very youthful and enticing energy into anatomy

  • that I just love.

  • Street artists believe that art belongs to the public.

  • And this street anatomy is so captivating

  • because it is the furthest removed from the medical world.

  • It forces you to look at it,

  • and confront your own perceptions about anatomy,

  • whether you find it beautiful,

  • gross,

  • morbid

  • or awe-inspiring, like I do.

  • That it elicits these responses at all

  • is due to our intimate and often changing relationship with it.

  • All of the artists that I showed you here today

  • referenced medical illustrations for their art.

  • But for them,

  • anatomy isn't just something to memorize,

  • but a base from which to understand the human body on a meaningful level;

  • to depict it in ways that we can relate,

  • whether it be through cartoons,

  • body painting

  • or street art.

  • Anatomical art has the power

  • to reach far beyond the pages of a medical textbook,

  • to ignite an excitement in the public,

  • and reinvigorate an enthusiasm in the medical world,

  • ultimately connecting our innermost selves with our bodies through art.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

As a lover of human anatomy,

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【TED】Vanessa Ruiz: The spellbinding art of human anatomy (The spellbinding art of human anatomy | Vanessa Ruiz)

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    yucyan posted on 2017/04/06
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