In Their Words

Steve Miller's X-Rays Offer a Glimpse of the World Striped of its Surface

Steve Miller's X-Rays Offer a Glimpse of the World Striped of its Surface
Steve Miller, with an X-Ray'd sloth.

If photography captures our visible reality, X-rays expose what's buried underneath. Steve Miller's unique process, which involves collaborating with medical technicians to produce eye-catching images using electromagnetic radiation, offers a glimpse into a world stripped of its surface. Read what the artist had to say about some of his favorite pieces available on Artspace.

Law of the Jungle

Steve Miller, Law of the Jungle, 2011Law of the Jungle, 2011. Available on Artspace for $250.

"This is part of a series called “Health of the Planet.” To make this image, I took a live python to a hospital and X-rayed it. Because snakes are always in motion, you need to slow them down so they're still enough for the X-ray. And to slow them down, you need to feed them. That's why you can see a mouse in its belly." 

Futebol 14

Steve Miller, Futebol 14, 2013Futebol 14, 2013. Available on Artspace for $500.

"I made this print specifically for Artspace; it's not available anywhere else. Futebol  was for the 2014 World Cup in Rio. The sun in Brazil is just so incredibly strong and because their universe revolves round soccer, I made an image that references this culture. And X-raying the Amazon is basically giving Brazil a medical checkup because the Amazon is considered the lungs of the planet."

Roger Vivier Red

Steve Miller, Roger Vivier Red, 2012Roger Vivier Red, 2012. Available on Artspace for $1,500.

"I was invited to a show in Paris where a bunch of artists were given these same Roger Vivier shoes. So for this exhibition, I took the shoes to the hospital and had them X-rayed. I don’t know what year this was, but it was before you could send stuff on computers. We had to photograph the X-ray and then I developed the photo, and sent it out FedEx to Paris for the exhibition. Radiologists are very curious and love to experiment with different stuff. You can see the incredible structure of the shoe—all the nails, and the metal heels. All my work is a collaborative science."

Chanel Pink

Steve Miller, Chanel Pink, 2012Chanel Pink, 2012. Available on Artspace for $1,500.

"This piece was part of a show about my mother. My mom had all these French luxury fashion goods by Vuitton, Chanel, and Vivier. So I took them to a hospital in Buffalo, New York, and these fashion pieces became some of the first things I X-rayed. This bag—the classic Chanel bag with the gold chain—had a lot of junk in it so the image didn't have much clarity on the first try. So, I reduced the contents to two items: her key and her comb."  



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