On Seeing: A Journal – #250



A few weeks back I gave an evening talk about my work to the New York Society for Surgery of the Hand. The room was filled with hand surgeons, hand surgery fellows, and orthopedic residents. The host, the respected hand surgeon Steve Lee, had invited me to speak about my personal transition from science to art, and the similarities and differences between the two.

Preparing for the presentation of some of my work, past and present, gave me a terrific opportunity to review images I’ve created over the past several years, photographs studying that miraculous instrument, the human hand. Looking back on 25 years of these images, I was reminded of how much exploration I’ve done on this one intriguing but often overlooked subject: more than one thousand finished photographs of hands representing a wide world of variety and discovery.

Here are just a few of those studies, portraits in a sense, of a part of the human anatomy almost as expressive as the face. The hand has given me a chance to express what seems infinite: an enormous range of sizes, shapes, unique characteristics and physical peculiarities, which have yielded a series of powerful (I hope) graphic designs. This was true digital photography, with digits as the star models.

Then a darker series with highlights.

Hands and feet.

Hands doing things:

And, Finally, some pure experiments.

Glass rods utilized to distort and invert imagery.

Though most of my hand images were black and white, on some occasions I used color:  for instance, here I  used colored gels to enhance the “feel” of movement.

And this one using fluorescein-infused Karo syrup to alter color.

This is the hand of a friend, a bee keeper with rheumatoid arthritis, who encouraged his bees to sting his hands claiming it relieved and even cured his rheumatoid symptoms.

And, finally, from a beauty shoot…liberties for which I hope I may be forgiven.

Model: Fruzsina, Makeup: Kirsten Bode, Hair: Mike Schepers