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Pasatiempo - - Pasa Tempos -

As an X-ray pho­tog­ra­pher, Nick Veasey only shoots the dead. “If it wasn’t dead, it would cer­tainly have been dead af­ter I X-rayed it, with the amount of ra­di­a­tion I used,” Veasey says in a July 2009 talk posted at www.ted.com. Veasey is a Bri­tish artist who ditched Le­ica lenses for the sur­face-pierc­ing pho­tons of X-ray ma­chines and air­line cargo scan­ners. The X-rays that doc­tors and vets snap are mil­lisec­ond af­fairs, fuzzy one-takes that min­i­mize a pa­tient’s ex­po­sure to ra­di­a­tion. Veasey’s oth­er­worldly, ra­zor-crisp im­ages re­quire that he blast his sub­jects with streams of ra­dioac­tive ions for up to 12 min­utes. “The thicker the ob­ject, the more ra­di­a­tion it needs,” Veasey ex­plains.

Veasey comes to Klau­dia Marr Gallery on Fri­day, May 7, to an­swer ques­tions dur­ing the gallery’s launch of an ex­hibit of 20 of his im­ages. His ghost­like works have cap­tured the in­te­ri­ors of turnta­bles, daf­fodils, un­der­wear, hard drives, do­bros, MP3 play­ers, teddy bears, and even a pair of Jimmy Choo stilet­tos. But his eye­catch­ing X-ray work also shows hu­man bod­ies driv­ing For­mula One cars, op­er­at­ing bull­doz­ers, and rid­ing buses. “To make it come alive, you need some­how to add the hu­man el­e­ment,” Veasey says. The body in many of his pho­tos is “Frida,” a hu­man skele­ton used by stu­dent ra­dio­g­ra­phers.

Veasey used Frida to spec­tac­u­lar ef­fect when he X-rayed an en­tire bus. Though it looks like more than 20 pas­sen­gers sit­ting, stand­ing, and read­ing news­pa­pers, they are all just Frida in dif­fer­ent poses. To pull off the shoot, Veasey found a com­pany will­ing to lend him a $3 mil­lion X-ray scan­ner used on the U.S.-Mex­ico border to de­tect drugs and smug­gled im­mi­grants. The re­sult­ing im­age was blown up

Nick Veasey:

Bus,

1998, C-print/Di­asec, 23.5 x 59 inches; top, Kylie’s Knick­ers, 2008, C-print/Di­asec, 23.5 x 59 inches

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