Monkeyshines: Spooky Animal X-Ray Lampshades

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Call it “taxidermy light”: Los Angeles-based veterinary technician Spike Vain creates spooky and spellbinding lampshades from discarded animal x-ray images.

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Spike Vain is the founder/designer of @XrayVisionDesigns and her artwork is unique to say the least. We’ve all seen scenes from medical TV dramas where a doctor slaps an x-ray or two on that light-box thingy, then waxes at length on their recommended treatment for the depicted injury. How many of you dropped the remote, pointed at the TV screen and shouted “I WANT THAT!!”?

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OK, so absolutely no one wants a medical light-box thingy festooned with x-rays illuminating their humble abode (on days other than October 31st) but one must admit the concept is, er, intriguing. Spike Vain has taken that ball and has run with it, helped by a lifelong fascination with x-ray images… hey, growing up in the Ukraine isn’t like growing up in the Utah, y’know.

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Vain first encountered x-rays at the age of 4 when she accompanied her grandparents to their doctor’s appointments. The ghostly images depicting the hidden inner workings of living creatures struck a chord, and she began saving and collecting as many x-rays as she could find – a hobby made easier thanks to the fact that x-rays are non-recyclable and are typically discarded in the trash. Vain considered how best to present x-ray images in an artistic and practical way and… you can see where this is going, right? Yep, lampshades.


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