Although this is certainly not the first of posts in this journal that showcases works that make use of the x-ray, Nick Veasey’s approach to his work and overall sense of humour is so great that I could not resist sharing it. This artist x-rays everything, and finds unique meaning in applying this process to each subject. One of his most recent shows, entitled “Patriot Acts”, opened on September 11th, 2011, the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This was, of course, quite timely and appropriate, with the x-ray playing a big part in the enhanced security initiatives undertaken by western nations after the attacks.
On a superficial level, Veasey’s works reveal the intricacies of machines, toys, plants and other organisms. In the x-ray of the doll above, for example, the tube going from its mouth to between its legs is revealed (which allows it to “pee” the water you give it to “drink” like a “real” baby) and we get a glimpse of its inner structure. This unique perspective allows the viewer quite literally to see right through the subject, in such a way that may conceal intentions but that nevertheless shows every layer there is to see (like with the skeleton of a man with a gun tucked in his suit jacket).
To achieve the seamless, clean look in his works, Veasey x-rays pieces of the objects and then digitally assembles them to create a single image. His prints force the viewer to single in on the physical structure of an object, and to observe the qualities of organisms out of context. While some of his prints are tinted orange or blue, for example, the majority of them are black and white, giving them a haunting and clinical appearance. As Richard Chang puts it in ARTnews magazine, “Veasey lets light do the talking”.
To see more of Veasey’s x-rayed subjects, ranging from beautiful to bizarre to unsettling, click here.
- Gabrielle Doiron