Thu 7 Dec 2023 to Thu 29 Feb 2024
Artist: Nick Veasey
Special event: WALKER - Nick Veasey: Forensic Beauty. Saturday 17 February, 3pm-4pm. Register
Bluerider ART presents "Nick Veasey: Forensic Beauty" the renowned British artist Nick Veasey's first solo exhibition in the UK in a decade. The exhibition showcases Nick Veasey's classic works and new body of work that humorously explores the essence of human objects beneath the surface, offering a poignant commentary on society's appearance obsession.
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Nick Veasey (UK, b.1962) lives and works in Kent, UK, working primarily with radiography to create his images X-ray images. Through the unique penetration of the X-ray process, Nick Veasey strips back the layers to show what lies beneath the surface, revealing the inner workings behind the subjects facade, playfully and mischievously exploring the essence of objects and human inner desire. Veasey’s worldwide recognition includes; imagery for the front cover of TIME magazine, recent collaborations with Alexander McQueen SS23 and the Victoria and Albert Museum "Balenciaga: shaping fashion" exhibition, a large-scale retrospective at the renowned Fotografiska museum in Sweden, visited by the Prince and Princess of Wales, and the Swedish royalty. Recent shows include “X-ray Men” at the Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art and “APMA chapter 3” at the Amorepacific Museum of Art. Permanently collected in the V&A Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the US, the BMW Museum in Germany, the National Science and Media Museum in the UK, and the Museum of Applied Arts and Design in Switzerland, important collaborations with international brands like Louis Vuitton, United Airlines, Balenciaga, and more.
"The artist’s work could be seen as a project that harnesses and exploits modern technology to advance the boundaries of perception and of art. By revealing the unseen details of the interior structure, material and construction. Veasey creates art that is redolent of a ‘forensic investigation’, which makes his work a classic example of the fusion between art and science." as described by Victoria & Albert museum.
The genesis of X-ray photography can be traced back to a serendipitous discovery in 1895 when German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen stumbled upon what he termed “X-rays”. Roentgen’s experiments with cathode-ray tubes unveiled a mysterious form of radiation capable of penetrating solid objects. His wife’s hand became the subject of the world’s first X- ray image, marking the advent of medical radiography. Nick Veasey started his X-ray career with a “finger” image to pay tribute to Roentgen. However, working with X-rays is dangerous and safety is paramount. For over thirty years Veasey’s body of work has devleoped a dazzling balance of extremes, using lethal radiation to produce results of great lyricism and grace. Veasey spent years perfecting his methodology, reaching out to scientists and photographers alike to gauge object density and radiation intensity. Larger subjects are more labour intensive, the lens capacity of the machine is limited to the size of the processing film, therefore each image is compartmentalised into multiple shots. Unfazed by the hazardous and arduous medium, equipped with his extensive technical knowledge, Veasey’s creative process is limitless. Radiation's candid exposure gives the viewers that precious feeling that they have somehow seen reality afresh with an aspect to life that they have never before experienced. Over the years, his canon of work has diversified from the Pepsi Cola can to a Boeing 77 and everything in between. Materiality is no obstacle.
The exhibition “Nick Veasey: Forensic Beauty" extends beyond traditional prints. With an installation piece based around darkroom activity, Bluerider ART aims to engage the audience through visually stimulating displays, including mirrors, lenticulars, raw film, and high-quality dissect prints. Veasey's optical illusions invite viewers to witness reality afresh, revealing the inner workings of each subject. The exhibition will present a series of new work, mirroring the irony of the English, with seasonal window display to raise the festive moral of Mayfair. "Forensic Beauty" is not only a visual spectacle, but a testament to Nick Veasey's mastery of a hazardous medium, which grants his art to penetrate the surface and take us on a journey into a world otherwise hidden, offering a unique perspective on the intersection of science and art. Veasey's work serves as a reminder that, beneath the surface, more unites us than divides us.