Nick Veasey is an artist that uses a very non-traditional medium - large format X-rays.
The photographer was born in London in 1962. He worked in the advertising and design industries and pursued work in conventional still photography before being asked to X-ray a cola can for a television show. Veasey also decided to X-ray the shoes he was wearing that day. The finished images were shown to an art director, and Veasey's exploration was cemented by the response it provoked.
Veasey's first collection of images collated into hardback format: X-ray: See Through The World Around You was released by Carlton/Goodman in the UK and Penguin in North America. The book collects images captured over a 13-year period of experimentation with X-ray imaging and equipment.
He is the recipient of many photographic and design awards including IPA Lucie Awards, AOP, Graphis, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, PX3 and awards from the D&AD also being nominated for the IPA Lucie International Photographer of the Year 2008. He claims to be responsible for realising the possibly largest X-ray to date, a life size Boeing 777 jet, which currently resides upon a hangar at Logan Airport, Boston.
He has often chosen cars and bikes as his subject matter.
As he states on his site, "The x-rays reveal the skill and ingenuity that went into the design and manufacture of motorcycles from the beginning of the 20th century. Fascinating in their detail, the project records the developments in engineering of the ‘golden age’.
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.
This society of ours, consumed as it is by image, is also becoming increasingly controlled by security and surveillance. Take a flight, or go into a high profile courtroom and your belongings will be x-rayed. The post arriving in corporations and government departments has often been x-rayed. Security cameras track our every move. Mobile phone receptions place us at any given time. Information is key to the fight against whatever we are meant to be fighting against. To create art with equipment and technology designed to help big brother delve deeper, to use some of that fancy complicated gadgetry that helps remove the freedom and individuality in our lives, to use that apparatus to create beauty brings a smile to my face.
To mix my metaphors, we all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, that beauty is more than skin deep. By revealing the inside, the quintessential element of my art speculates upon what the manufactured and natural world really consists of.
As gearheads, we thought you would enjoy his work as much as we have. Check out his site here.
Tip of the hat to Alex Jones for the story idea.