Art Art &Daily post 21 Aug 2008 08:55 am

Skeleton show

- Following up the Rico LeBrun post from yesterday, here are some stills from an exhibition at the natural history museum in Basel, Switzerland. It imagines what the bone structure of some cartoon characters may look like.

The show is called Animatus. South Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee uses the techniques of paleontologists to create the skeletons of familiar comic figures such.


(Click any image to enlarge.)


Bugs Bunny in all three above images.


Drawings of Bugs and Felix


Two views of Felix


Road runner and Wil E. Coyote


Donald Duck


Huey, Dewey & Louie and Donald Duck


The sculptures are constructed of resin, aluminum sticks, stainless steel wires,
springs, brass bean and oil paint. They’re on wooden pedestals.


Tom & Jerry


A drawing of Mickey.


Hyungkoo Lee and other sculptors at work on the skeletons.

I’d formerly featured this sculptor’s work when the show opened in a Korean art gallery.

You should also take a look at Michael Paulus’ work, which I’ve featured several times. He has done this very thing years ago, and his work is quite humorous.


Paulus’ drawing of Linus.

37 Responses to “Skeleton show”

  1. on 21 Aug 2008 at 11:14 am 1.pspector said …

    Outrageous stuff when I pause to think about it.

    Slightly off topic, that black and white photo of the artist and assistants in lab coats surrounded by skeletals sort of breaks my own preconceptions of the artist at work. You know, I pictured a guy in jeans and t-shirt sitting at a table strewn with wires, resin bones, sketches, wire cutters, etc.

  2. on 21 Aug 2008 at 12:45 pm 2.Thad said …

    These are incredible. I’d love to have the Road Runner and nephew skeletons in our trophy room.

  3. on 21 Aug 2008 at 1:15 pm 3.Jenny Lerew said …

    That is just…incredibly cool!

  4. on 22 Aug 2008 at 1:10 pm 4.Eric Noble said …

    I want one. I’ll take one of the Coyote. Anyway, these remind me of that MAD Magazine article where they talk about the anatomy of famous comic strip characters.

  5. on 22 Aug 2008 at 6:25 pm 5.Tom Minton said …

    This means that cartoonists’ innards consist of circles and lines of action.

  6. on 22 Aug 2008 at 10:43 pm 6.Jason said …

    #@%$! Creepy!

  7. on 26 Aug 2008 at 9:01 am 7.Sun said …

    Now here’s an interesting artfrom! Can you make them dance?

  8. on 27 Aug 2008 at 3:24 pm 8.Melvillain said …

    Great post!

  9. on 27 Aug 2008 at 10:54 pm 9.hexy said …

    pspector maybe they do when no camera’s around

  10. on 01 Sep 2008 at 2:36 am 10.homestar_runner said …

    fuckin osm

  11. on 01 Sep 2008 at 5:43 am 11.minimiseme said …

    That’s funny! Its Bugs Bunny

  12. on 01 Sep 2008 at 8:28 am 12.feline-curiosity said …

    It’s all about anthropomorphism, isn’t it? I wouldn’t say it was outrageous, just interesting. Most cartoon charaters have human-esque skeletons.
    We briefly looked at this guy in my animation class it’s nice to see the whole collection.

  13. on 01 Sep 2008 at 1:43 pm 13.rudhran said …

    amazing and makes one think more.. this is more than art

  14. on 06 Sep 2008 at 6:05 pm 14.Bob said …

    these are AMAZING!

  15. on 07 Sep 2008 at 5:51 pm 15.Jon said …

    I actually saw these at the Korean exhibition in the Venice Biannalle art show summer before last. I was astounded and took tons of pics of these guys. The main piece their was of tom and jerry but obviously as skeletons. The work is more flawless upclose than you could imagine. Incredible work, and I am glad to see some more of his work!

    Ps there was also a lab scene set up like the black and white photo, with gas masks, scapels, and lots of other tools. Really eerie!

  16. on 08 Sep 2008 at 9:26 am 16.Xylene2301 said …

    Qwerky!! Clever. Great work!!
    It incoporates Bugs, Mickey and the rest into our reality.
    I’ve always considered that the cartoons and slapsticks like The Three Stooges were funnier if one suspended disbelief and imagined them as real.

  17. on 08 Sep 2008 at 1:47 pm 17.Zarga said …

    I’ve seen his stuff in Venice Biennale 2007 before, really cool.

    Wonder how he make them look so real, like taken from existing creatures.

    Btw, the artists looks more like lab researchers studying fossils…

  18. on 12 Sep 2008 at 2:36 pm 18.Shapes of Sweetness said …

    It’s dope to see these skeletons actually built.

  19. on 14 Sep 2008 at 12:46 pm 19.beatrice flaig said …

    As a middle school science teacher it was a great way to show the students this site after completing a fossil unit. They got a kick out of it

  20. on 14 Sep 2008 at 12:55 pm 20.Michael said …

    Beatrice, I’m glad it was helpful. I’d like to see the actual sculptures. I suspect it’d be quite edifying and possibly quite a bit more informative than even these photos.

    When one realizes that most of the bones museums use to reconstruct dinosaurs are also recreated to fill the gaps for bones they’ve actually found, it’s no wonder these cartoon sculptures are so interesting.

  21. on 14 Sep 2008 at 7:09 pm 21.Ilsa said …

    I like how the picture of the people working on this project is a part of the art itself, because it looks just like they could be real scientists really dusting off these bones and putting them together!

  22. on 14 Sep 2008 at 11:43 pm 22.EK said …

    Beautiful!

  23. on 24 Sep 2008 at 8:29 am 23.yasar said …

    these are AMAZING! I want to buy it.

  24. on 24 Sep 2008 at 9:25 am 24.Lovelyn said …

    These are great. I love wacky stuff like this.

  25. on 25 Sep 2008 at 3:10 am 25.sue said …

    Fun drawings!

  26. on 02 Oct 2008 at 12:20 pm 26.JayJayGirl10 said …

    WOW! The Mickey Mouse one is SOOOO creepy!!!

  27. on 12 Nov 2008 at 10:05 pm 27.Dreams said …

    Pretty amazing without the skin and flesh. I wonder how much time they need to build one from scratch.

  28. on 11 Dec 2008 at 6:55 pm 28.CHEN HUI GOOG said …

    BUT NO
    HANARERARENAI

  29. on 11 Dec 2008 at 6:57 pm 29.CHEN HUI GOOG said …

    これはすごいな。

  30. on 25 Jan 2009 at 2:35 pm 30.foxygal said …

    Cool idea but kinda scary seeing cartoon characters as skeletons, After all you don’t want to tell your kid it’s Mickey’s Skeleton but they might lile it. Art is strange eh but there is always some things considered as art that some people might disagree on but i love it i have decided.

  31. on 15 Feb 2009 at 3:39 pm 31.Pascal Petit said …

    Hehehe absolutly brilliant! Bravo
    Pascal
    http://www.agitatto.com/blog

  32. on 15 Sep 2009 at 11:24 pm 32.Salami said …

    This is awesome. I love when I see something like this that makes me wonder why no one thought of it before. Very nice, original idea and very well done.

  33. on 10 Jan 2011 at 4:41 pm 33.BullyBilly said …

    A friend, who works in the Vert Paleo department in the natural history museum where I work, got upset that the creations of the artist were simply based on a humanized character trait that doesn’t exist in the real animal. He pointed out fissures and areas where there were extra ribs etc. I sighed hoping he would have appreciated it. On that note he loves manga.

  34. on 24 May 2011 at 2:43 pm 34.brent said …

    This is a great concept. I wish I would have thought of the idea. There’s so many cartoons out there. Its really kinda of endless on what one can do. Great attention to detail,very impressed.

  35. on 09 Apr 2013 at 1:29 pm 35.David Peters said …

    Michael, I’d like to link to your images. They are perfect for paleontologists!

  36. on 09 Apr 2013 at 1:31 pm 36.David Peters said …

    The link to Hyungkoo Lee is broken.

  37. on 09 Apr 2013 at 1:43 pm 37.Michael said …

    The link is five years old. You’ll have to go searching if you’re interested.

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