British photographer, Nick Veasey uses industrial X-ray machines to discover what makes up the natural world and highlight the surprising, inner beauty in some of the most common objects.
Veasey got the idea to use X-ray machines for art while dating the daughter of a truck driver who was transporting thousands of soda cans, one of which contained a prize worth 100,000 pounds. He rented an X-ray machine from a local hospital to find the winning can. Although he was unsuccessful, he credits this moment for sparking the idea that launched his career.
Due to the high risk of working with radiation, Veasey custom built a concrete structure to contain it. To get his pictures, subjects are placed on a lead surface with film behind it. The X-rays pass through the subject and then onto the film where from there he can control the exposure time in a separate room. Once this is complete, the film is processed, scanned and then digitally touched up or colorized.
Veasey doesn’t actually use any human subjects, as they would have to endure radiation for about 12 minutes. Instead, when a model is needed, he uses skeletons in rubber suits or cadavers that have been donated to science.
The theatre is a spiritual and social X-ray of its time. Stella Adler
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