The works of British artist Nick Veasey are a classic example of the fusion between science and art. Nick’s work with radiographic imaging equipment takes the X-ray to another level. Everyday objects are transformed from the banal to the beguiling and the layers and make-up of natural items are shown in fantastic detail. The results transcend classification as photographs, having the gravitas to motivate science institutions and art museums to acquire the artworks. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London have recently added his work to the British National Collection of Photography and his work is in the permanent collections of Museums of Contemporary Art from San Francisco and Massachusetts (MASS MoCA) to Taipei.
The artist’s work can be seen as a project that harnesses and exploits modern technology to advance the boundaries of perception and of art. But what sets him apart from other artists is not only the technique. Instead of creating or transforming things, he is exposing something that always existed, objects we think we know but we don’t. Not from the inside out. Creating art with radiation is complex and dangerous but the results continually inspire Nick to keep experimenting.
“We live in a world obsessed with image. What we look like, what our clothes look like, houses, cars… I like to counter this obsession with superficial appearance by using X-rays to strip back the layers and show what it is like under the surface. Often the integral beauty adds intrigue to the familiar. We all make assumptions based on the external visual aspects of what surrounds us and we are attracted to people and forms that are aesthetically pleasing. I like to challenge this automatic way that we react to just physical appearance by highlighting the, often surprising, inner beauty.” Nick Veasey