Street Anatomy’s Heart Beats For Art, Medicine and Queered Science

Have you ever wanted to look deeper into your own humanity? Into the depths of your human condition? Get to the nitty gritty, right down to the bones, but were always too scared off by the sometimes messy, always complex system that is the body?

Behold Street Anatomy!

This blog, whose contributors happen to be very attractive queer women (no seriously, their anatomy is really quite pleasing), was created by Vanessa Ruiz while she was getting her master’s in biomedical visualization at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Street Anatomy is dedicated to exposing the field of medical illustration in today’s youthful environment. Gone are the pages of Gray’s Anatomy (it is actually a book!) and the yellowed cadavers you had to poke at in grade 10 science. As someone who struggled to work on her own medical illustration assignment and failed miserably, I know this stuff can be grueling and exhausting to pull off, but the ladies at Street Anatomy make it happen. Joyfully.

What we have here, doc, is a reliable collection of anatomical illustrations and inside-out-art from different people, that will leave your bones aching for more and your brain thinking “well that makes sense now!”

right-click to enlarge


See! It’s art making sense of your insides! Huzzah!

It’s pretty hard to get people amped up about the stuff we usually only see after death, but these ladies put a colorful twist on it by incorporating the newest trends in the design world. Street Anatomy combines illustrations, sculptures, fashion, photography, advertising, music and even food that reflects the quality of anatomical illustration, so there’s never a dull moment.

If you’re in the Chicago area, swing by the International Museum of Surgical Science between Sept. 3 and Nov. 19, where you can see the group exhibition, Street Anatomy, curated by Vanessa Ruiz. Seriously, these artists sound amazing:

+ CAKE, a New York City street artist with a fine art painterʼs aesthetic
+ Ryan Gerdes, a graphic designer in Portland who specializes in screen printing
+ Heather Tompkins of San Francisco, a filmmaker and illustrator who combines ink and digital media
+ Robyn Roth, a Kentucky-based tattoo artist and painter of skateboard decks
+ Jason Freeny, a corporate designer in New York who digitally creates anatomical charts of pop culture icons such as Hello Kitty and the Lego man
+ David Foox, a New Zealander who produced a collection of vinyl toys to promote organ donation
+ Emilio Garcia from Spain, a former web designer who originated the jumping brain motif now ubiquitous in a variety of 2-D and 3-D formats
+ Noah Scalin, a resident of Richmond, VA, who created a skull from found objects every day for a year and documented his work on his Skull-a-Day blog, which spawned a skull-spotting phenomenon and led to the publication of a book and an appearance by the artist on the Martha Stewart show
+ Stephen J. Shanabrook, an established contemporary artist most famous for his “Morgue Chocolates” series of candies cast from body parts.

Follow Street Anatomy on Twitter!

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I'm an amazing n00b. I like art.

Sab has written 2 articles for us.


  1. Thanks for the nice write up on the show! Quick correction, I’m actually from Richmond, VA not Washington, DC!

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