Friday, July 1, 2011
Booty: A Mermaid Anatomy Lesson
The above quote refers to the type of fantasy mermaid that sailors have exchanged stories about probably as long as they have put boats in the water. A completely different, and far more clinical, view of these much storied merfolk is offered by modern artist Walmor Correa whose mermaid illustration appears at the header.
Correa, who is a native of Brazil, became interested in art through science. He developed a fascination with anatomical and wildlife drawings and, after finding he had a rich talent with pencil and pen, developed a style all his own. His work is a surprising combination of the kind of studies found in the classic Grey’s Anatomy and the timeless renderings of San Domingue Creole John James Audubon. Correa focuses on such things as odd combinations of species – birdlike rodents, for instance – and crypto-zoological studies. He has even done anatomical pieces based on Marvel Comics characters. He is a prolific artist who has been producing beautifully detailed works of both quirky and disturbing fantasy for over a decade.
Two of my favorite pieces by Correa focus on mythical beasts of the sea. The first is, of course, the delicately detailed mermaid pictured above. The most surprising points of the seemingly post-mortem study, to me at least, are her human lungs and the detail on the lower left showing how she would carry a child in her womb.
The second is of a Brazilian creature known as an Igpupiara or Ipupiara. According to MythBeasts, this is a seal-like mercreature that was first spotted off Brazil in the 16th century. This type of merfolk is without the scales of a mermaid and has webbed fingers. As Correa presents it, Igpupiara’s internal organs differ considerably from the mermaid’s; even the detail of its mouth and glottis on the right are unfamiliar.
You can see more of Walmor Correa’s intriguing if often unsettling work here as well as at his official website. Pleasant dreams…