Philadelphia-based artist Matthew Cox layers embroidery on top of medical x-rays to create these wonderfully weird pieces. The mix of clashing mediums appeals to me: one quick, technical and impersonal, the other labor intensive, tactile and hands on. I like that one strips away and reveals while the other covers and enhances.
Cox explained his inspiration to My Modern Met: “Taking two divergent materials which each have a specific purpose and placing them together creates a new entity that hopefully upsets the viewer’s sense of reality. As for why x-rays and embroidery, I became interested in the beauty of both about the same time and it seemed an organic but odd fit.”
And there’s a sweetness in that these pictures done by a man: “For me, stitching has a nurturing aspect and acts as care giving or healing to the injured, a socially feminine sort of action, while the x-ray itself can be considered masculine and unemotional.”
The X-rays he uses have their own story: each was given to Cox by an Australian friend: “They’re from his family. In Australia, unlike here, the patient holds their own x-rays throughout their life so each person ends up with a stack of their own physical history.” And now, with an embellishment of their innermost selves.
(All images copyright the artist. Read more about Matthew Cox here)