Adding a touch of softness to stark images of knees, skulls, and chests, Matthew Cox uses bright thread to embroider on X-ray film. His additions add a playful fiction to the cold reality of the transparent film, giving body parts the faces of Greek gods and limbs of anger-prone superheroes. Each stitch on the medical photograph acts as a line for Cox, a labored drawing produced from vibrant thread.
The Philadelphia-based artist enjoys the contrast of his two chosen materials, redefining each of their roles through their unique combination. “By joining the cold, blue, medically-technical plastic of the X-ray with the colorful, decorative and tactile embroidery thread, each is removed from its original intention and creates a new entity,” said Cox. “Handling these media also gives me an opportunity to comment on the ever-increasing presence of photography in contemporary art by introducing labor over the quick, slickness of film.”