Tuesday, July 21, 2015



The MB&F M.A.D.Gallery in Geneva features an exhibition called “X-RAY” by British visual artist Nick Veasey, who takes photographs of things twe cannot see.

These images transform everyday objects from banal into beguiling. 
In particular, his images of two vehicles – “VW Beetle” and “Matchless Rider” – coincide with MBF's passion for mechanics and  perpetual dream of revealing fantastic, ingenious details normally invisible.
It is these details that got MBF really excited to learn about Veasey’s fascinating process of creating the images, which take many months to complete. 
Because the x-rays emit potentially lethal radiation, Veasey’s workshop in the Radar Studio, a converted Cold War spying station that he bought from the military, is isolated in the middle of a field in the Kent countryside in the south of England.
Understandably, Veasey protects himself by taking extreme precautions. 
With potential exposure to such high levels of radiation, he has constucted his studio using 10 cm/4” thick blocks of a material called lignacite, which prevents x-rays from passing through the walls. 
The floor is made from a high-density, radiation- absorbing concrete. The lead and steel door alone weighs 1,250 kg / 2755 lbs!
To create his images, Veasey uses very slow film. This produces an extremely clear capture with no grain. 
His x-ray equipment is unlike the type you find in hospitals; while a typical hospital x-ray is about 100 kilovolts and lasts 0.2 seconds, Veasey’s hard-to-find machine is much more powerful, going up to 200 kilovolts and emitting x-rays for far longer – sometimes as long as 20 minutes.
Amid a great deal of experimentation with the exposure, distance, and type of film used, Veasey at times has to dismantle the object he is shooting in order to obtain clean, sharp images, which are always 1:1 in scale.
Every image taken is captured on 35 x 43 cm (14”/17”) sections. No problem if x-raying a lightbulb. 
But for something like a VW Beetle Veasey has to dismantle the whole vehicle, x-raying every single component individually – months and months of work.
Nick Veasey, 53, admits that he derives much of the joy he finds in his work not just from the final images as we know them now, but from the journey he has taken to arrive at the final images. 
His work is a classic example of fusion between art and science.
“The great thing about x-ray is that once you think that you know it, it comes and bites you in the backside and surprises you,” he says. “I often get it wrong. 
Everybody makes mistakes. And you learn by your mistakes.
As always, this M.A.D.Gallery exhibit is a human adventure. Veasey is a simple man, passionate and curious about his chosen field. 
In today’s world obsessed with image, superficiality, and artifice, Veasey counters insubstantial diversions by delving deep inside things to discover and reveal what they are really made of.
He’s also curious. Over the years, Veasey has created many x-ray photographs, from small everyday objects to large multi-component structures such as cars, and buses full of passengers. He has even x-rayed a life-size Boeing 777 jet!
Don’t miss the eight images created by Nick Veasey on display at Geneva’s M.A.D. Gallery: “Matchless Rider”, “Mitchell Film Camera”, “Decks”, “Airport X-ray”, “Typewriter”, “VW Beetle”, “Superman” and “Lightbulb”. All of these are available as prints or framed Diasecs.
If you are in or passing through Geneva, do drop in and see them for yourself. If Geneva is not part of your travel plans anytime soon, you can keep in touch via  Facebook and Instagram pages (@mbfmadgallery).

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