To watch Nick Veasey at work is to witness a true master of his craft. Nick’s work is a classic example of the fusion between science and art, utilizing radiation-emitting X-ray machines to create beguilingly beautiful and incredibly detailed artworks. Hazardous and expensive, it is unsurprising that such a small minority has exploited the creative possibilities of X-ray technology. Artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Helmut Newton in the 60’s and 70’s merely scratched the surface of the medium in which Veasey is fully immersed.
It is common for Nick to use hundreds of separate x-rays to create large scale works. While seemingly painstaking to the everyday observer, he renders his process down to two steps: “I pass radiation through an object and make an impression on a piece of film.” Therein lies the juxtaposition of Veasey’s masterful craftsmanship: a lethal complexity that is second nature.
Recent career highlights include two major retrospective museum exhibitions, one in Korea and the other at Fotografiska Stockholm, the world’s largest photography museum, which attracted 100,000 visitors from the likes of Swedish and British royals over its 8-week duration. Nick has work featured in institutional collections around the world such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, The Museum at FIT in New York and most notably the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, with which he collaborated by x-raying their fashion collection.
Veasey’s art is at once engaging and, upon closer inspection, dramatically revealing. The overriding, pervading message is that society’s obsession with superficiality and materialism pales in significance to the importance of what we, and the world around us, are really made of. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.