ARTIST'S STATEMENT Merrill C. Raides, M.D.

 

Thirty years were spent as a radiologist looking at black-and-white images. Since retirement my energy has been directed toward the artistic goal of creating fine art by combining an interest in black-and-white photography with the love of flowers and expertise in radiology. Visible light and x-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum but with photons of differing wavelengths. Film can be exposed by photons from multiple sources. The film in a standard photographic camera sees only reflected light from the surface of objects, but film that is exposed with x-ray apparatus allows for a different dimension of visualization. It sees the shadow of an object by differential transmission of photons rather than by reflection. Either developed photographic film or developed x-ray film can be used as a negative to make prints. With any fine art print one responds to the impact of the image. The composition, form, drama of lighting,

 

and overall balance make an image powerful and pleasing. The x-ray image (radiograph) treats the viewer to exacting detail and a depiction of delicacy and complexity of structure unseen by standard photography. The texture of nature is revealed. A mood is created evoking a feeling of beauty. My initial work in this area involved contact silver gelatin prints, but with advances in digital imaging the x-ray film negatives are now scanned and QuadTone inkjet prints are created. There are relatively few practitioners of this type of art work. Many of these images have been published, appeared in other exhibitions, won awards, and many hang on corporate walls.

For further information about the type of x-ray equipment used to produce the floral x-rays in this exhibit, see the article by Merrill Raikes MD, Floral Radiography: Using X-rays to Create Fine Art, RadioGraphics, 2003; 23: 1149–1154, which is on display in the exhibition gallery.