Sep 1, 2009
Veasey, a London-born former advertising photographer who hit on the idea of using X-rays while photographing props for a television show, says his work serves to question our obsession with celebrity, image and beauty."I like to challenge the automatic way in which we react to external physical appearance by highlighting the often surprising inner beauty of things," he said.
Nick Veasey uses sophisticated X-ray cameras to reveal the inner workings of his subjects.
His use of the X-ray equipment deployed at airports, official buildings and even schools as a means of tackling crime and terrorism is a reminder that for 21st-century man, personal privacy is fast disappearing. In art, as in life, there is no longer any hiding place.
Veasey’s studio, in Maidenhead, Berkshire, is unlike any other artist’s garret. He works inside a lead-lined room.
Larger compositions require industrial X-ray machines. This image of a bus was taken using a device normally employed by American border police to scan vehicles. But the passenger images are, in fact, of only one man’s body. He X-rayed a single corpse – lent by an undertaker – before scanning the image into his computer and creating multiple images in a variety of poses. He then positioned these inside the image of the bus.
Delicate subjects such as flowers and insects require a more sensitive machine, capable of revealing the translucent quality of wings and petals, and the tiny structures within them.
The film is turned into a digital file, which Veasey manipulates to create his final picture. Each image can cost tens of thousands of pounds to produce.
Nick Veasey has published a book, simply called X-Ray. His latest work will be exhibited at Maddox Arts in London from 30 October 2009 to 10 January 2010.