In 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen a German engineer and physicist, took the first medical X-ray of his wife’s, Anna Bertha Röntgen, hand. He used various techniques and objects to capture what we now know as X-ray plates. This revolutionary discovery granted Röntgen the first ever Nobel Prize for physics. Having said that, it would be limiting to simply acknowledge this discovery exclusively for the Medicine field.
A distinguishing feature of Nick Veasey’s work is that science and art merge together. This unique fusion has enabled the artist to create contemporary artwork using the same principles that were once used by Röntgen. Today this technology is often used to detect cancer, drugs and contraband, however the artist uses it to create his artworks that are admired art collectors and exhibited around the world.
At first, art imitates life. Then life will imitate art. Then life will find its very existence from the arts.Fyodor Dostoevsky
Nick Veasey is a well known British photographer with an impeccable 20 year artistic career. Veasey generates photographs with radiographic imaging equipment, exclusively showing what is on the inside, and all the hidden mechanisms within. The artist breaks the obsession over external appearances, and resorts to his mantra:
Inside we are all the same.Nick Veasey
It all started with X-raying soda cans, which led him to stumble upon the idea of creating his unique images and experimenting with different everyday objects. He now works hand in hand with digital artists to manipulate images and achieve his cutting-edge techniques that take the X-ray’s to another level. Consequentially, the artist has been part of huge collaborations with brands such as Nike, Porsche and Levi’s and has won more than 50 awards throughout his career.
Here are some of Nick Veasey’s artworks that simply blew our mind and inspired us to look at
Boeing 777, 2003
The Boeing 777 is one of Nick Veasey’s greatest success. It is said to be the largest X-ray ever produced, composed of 500 different exposures and over 1,000 separate X-rays. The artist often explains that a large limiting factor is the size of film for his images, given that the largest size is 14×17 inches. This particular piece is life-sized and was featured for United Airlines, it took around 3 months of x-raying.
The photographs Vasey captures range from big stars, technology and nature, bringing to light their hidden interior, which to him carry integrity and honesty as opposed to the exterior.
The artist also worked on various superhero figures, like Batman. However, our favorite remains Superman, 2013:
His recent book titled X-Ray: See Through the World Around You contains a collection of photographs with everyday objects and nature.
The following objects, ‘Parrot Tulip’ , ‘Dahlia ‘Gallery Pablo’ and ‘Serrated Tulip’ are very delicate, and as the artist has explained they can only be X-rayed for a few minutes. This prevents large amounts of radiation which is perfect for smaller, more precise details. Each object follows a meticulous process, which can be different exposures, distances and films, always with the objective of being showcased in a manner where the object looks three dimentional. Veasey also experiments with colors and many of his artworks from the florals have vibrant inks of yellow, orange and pink.
Nick Veasey has also created X-rays of marine animals. Due to the intricate details, it is possible to analyze the geometry of these pieces and appreciate their complexity from within. Similarly to the florals, these objects require care and limited amounts of radiation to maintain their features.
On the note of Marine Animals, Veasey payed tribute to the respected artist Salvador Dalí whom we love, with an X-ray photograph of the surrealist object known as the Lobster Telephone. This piece is available at London’s Mauger Modern gallery.
Veasey’s photographs have been exhibited by many galleries, including Maddox and M.A.D.Gallery, as well as science institutions. Additionally, the world’s leading museum of art and design, V&A, collaborated with the artist to create high quality X-ray studies of their fashion collections.
Other fashion related artworks by the Artist include an X-ray of a pair of Christian Louboutin’s, the famously known ‘Red bottoms’. Additionally, his X-ray Murder series showcased different handbags from designers such as Dior, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
Christian Louboutin , 2015
X-ray Murder Series
The artist displayed a short series titled ‘X-ray Murder Series’, emphasizing that it is what is on the inside that counts.
Issigoni’s Mini 50th Anniversary
Not only does Veasey focus on nature, big stars and fashion, he has also collaborated with large scale car companies, such as Porsche, Ford, Mercedes Benz and BMW to produce X-rays of their cars. One of his most successful collaborations was for the 50th anniversary of Issigoni’s Mini, which the artist has said is one of his favorite cars. His work displayed once again at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
These artworks are surely a unique approach to everyday objects and personalities, with a distinguishable style. Veasey loosens frontiers and gives a new perspective to what we think we know about what is around us. Breaking the boundaries of perception, the artist creates a whole new world of his own.
You can also watch Nick’s inspiring Ted talk