In Vertical Median we see loose depictions of the patella, femur and hip joint alongside a written reference to the vertical median, which is the vertical plane which divides the body into its right and left sides, also known as the mid-sagittal plane. This textual reference is counteracted by the horizontal lines which chaotically surround the sketches. This direct contradiction is suggestive of the wide-ranging visual and thematic tensions which populate Jean-Michel Basquiat’s images.
The body parts are rendered in simplistic shapes; the patella in 3 circles suggesting three separate views, whilst the femur takes form as a cartoon-like bone. The specificity suggested by the femur’s label of ‘back view’ is undermined by the simplicity of the bone’s rendering. Basquiat presents a playful approach to the diagrams of Gray’s Anatomy, perhaps the primary inspiration behind the Anatomy series.
This Anatomy print reveals the artist's interest in toying with representations of the human form through simplifying the body into basic shapes, departing from the more elaborate anatomical detail such as that seen in 3 Views Of The Shoulder Joint Opened.