Through our ambition to discover and present you talented artists, OA Fine Art is delighted to show in our gallery in Paris, the photos and lenticular artworks of the renowned artist, Nick Veasey.
A man with x-ray vision, Nick Veasey creates art that shows what it is really like inside.
ARTWORKS AVAILABLE AT THE GALLERY
BIOGRAPHY OF THE ARTIST
Nick Veasey is a British photographer born in 1962, he lives and works in London.
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. These works are a classic example of the fusion between art and science. The results transcend classification as photographs, having the gravitas to motivate science institutions and art galleries to acquire the artworks. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London have recently added his work to the British National Collection of Photography.
Nick Veasey regularly exhibits at fine art galleries the world over. The ethereal and fascinating works have collected a host of International awards. In today’s world that is obsessed with ‘image’, superficiality and artifice, Veasey counters such insubstantial diversions by delving inside and discovering what things are really made of. Metaphors for the images are many and varied. Their context is very relevant in today’s society with the prevalence of surveillance and the use of x-ray technology for security.
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 Veasey to keep experimenting. The subjects of his attention are manifold. Flora and fauna, DJ Decks, ordinary objects such as shoes, a typewriter and even a classic Morris Mini. Mainly, whatever surrounds us and is tangible. Although working with the manifest, he achieves to uncover the invisible. Veasey’s x-rays penetrate the surface and take us on a journey into a world otherwise hidden and unseen.
The inner life of objects and organisms is revealed, the surface replaced with transparency, the inside becomes the outside – what is left is the form the aesthetics of form the inner beauty. The work is a dazzling balance of extremes, using lethal radiation to produce results of great lyricism and grace. Veasey’s x-rays penetrate solid matter to render it ghostly and gentle, giving the viewers that precious feeling that they have somehow seen reality afresh with an aspect to life that they have never before experienced. An artist that pushes boundaries in pursuit of his calling.
Source Nick Veasey
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 Xrays 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.
Working with x-rays is dangerous. So safety is paramount. Nick has built a bespoke concrete structure to contain the radiation. This building that appears to be a black box is where he now creates the vast majority of the x-ray work. Inside the black box are several different x-ray machines and a film processor. The different x-ray machines have varying outputs and capabilities. The x-ray machines consist of a head unit that emits xrays and an electronic control that drives the head unit. The head unit is inside the area built to contain radiation, the controls outside. Subjects to be x-rayed are placed on a lead floor or wall. Film is placed under or behind the subject. The x-rays that emanate from the head units pass through the subject and make an image on the film. That image is exactly the same size as the objects. If an object is too large to fit on one film, several are used. Once the set-up is complete Nick retreats from the x-ray room to the controls outside. He then selects an appropriate exposure time for the subject (more x-rays are needed to image a heavy object made of steel than a light object made of plastic). Now the x-ray exposure is complete Nick re-enters the x-ray room and collects the film. This film is processed and then scanned on a high-resolution scanner to obtain optimum detail and sharpness. The digital file created by the scanner is then carefully cleaned and retouched by Nick’s small group of image specialists. Considering that, for example, the plane image consists of over 500 separate x-rays these specialists really are special. Sometimes colour is added, sometimes not. The result is an x-ray of unparalleled detail and beauty.
NICK VEASEY X-RAY. THE MOBILE FACILITY
To create his x-ray artworks Nick Veasey has to use a radiation proof room in which to make the exposures. At his permanent facility in Kent Veasey’s x-ray room is built from 700mm thick solid concrete walls. For his collaboration with the Victoria & Albert museum for the exhibition on the designer Balenciaga a different solution was required as the garments to be x-rayed from the fashion collection are irreplaceable and cannot leave the museum’s premises. The answer was, uniquely, a mobile x-ray facility. A vast trailer was sourced and converted using lead shielding for the x-ray room, a darkroom with film processor and preparation room. This was a very significant investment with the trailer alone, without the specialist equipment inside, costing around £150,000 to complete. The trailer resided for 6 weeks at the V&A’s Blythe House, home to the fashion collection. This period proved to be fruitful as the project broadened out from Balenciaga to include outfits from every decade of the 20th Century and many older historical garments. The resultant x-rays are beautifully detailed forensic analysis of fashion. Both the artist and the museum are impressed by the outcome of the collaboration. The first images will be seen in the Balenciaga exhibition opening in May 2017 with further use of the x-rays in other forthcoming exhibitions and publications. One can’t help wondering where the next stop will be for Veasey’s magical x-ray trailer.
Interview of the artist