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The Human Body Rendered as Only Blood Vessels Is Simply Amazing

Markos Kay’s body of work gets a little nervy in his CG designs of artery-and-vein humanoids.

Diana Shi

Diana Shi

All images courtesy the artists

Never mind society's obsession with outward appearances—what do we all really look like on the inside? Having always been enamored with the anatomical illustrations inside Gray's Anatomy, the digital artist Markos Kay embarked on a new design project envisioning what people look like walking around the world without hair, skin, and bones. Kay's sinewy designs are a figure study in the human body, if the human body were deduced to only the circulatory system. 

Kay partnered with Jan Kriwol, a Polish photographer who has an interest in optical illusion, in 2012 to begin their project, entitled Human After All. "The biggest challenge for this project was creating an anatomical character that looked life-like and integrated with the real environment," Kay tells Creators. "We spent a lot of time experimenting with different postures, and oftentimes we had to exaggerate the posture greatly so that it could translate visually with the deconstructed structure of the circulatory system."

The majority of the photographs take place within urban locations, sites that are often overcrowded with sweaty, clothed humans in the real world. In the case of Kay's digital works, the spaces are almost completely vacant except for his spindly, veined humanoids who seem at ease to settle in for a burger lunch, head to the grocery store, and relieve themselves on top of gritty highways. 

Kriwol takes his creative eye across the globe to find unique backgrounds for each image of the Human After All. The photographs were taken in Warsaw, Tel Aviv, Masada hill in Israel, Grenoble, Berlin, Brussels, as well as Cape Town.

By breaking down the human body to its stringiest components, Kay hoped to have the viewer consider the flimsiness of civilization's building blocks relative to the organic components of the human body. He says, "We wanted to combine the anatomical renderings with urban environments to create a contrast between the natural, ethereal, and fragile structure of the circulatory system and the mundane manmade nature of its surroundings highlighting the oscillation between irony and romanticism in the human condition."

Check out a GIF of Kay's circulatory renderings with moving tributaries of blood below:

See more digital artwork from Markos Kay on his website here and other photography projects from Jan Kriwol here.

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