After reading a philosophical text by Ludwig Wittgenstein a decade ago, multi-media artist Babak Hosseiny was consumed by the idea of the hands as a symbol for a person’s wishes and fears. The line “If you do know that here is one hand, we’ll grant you all the rest” hung in his mind as he drew the preliminary sketches for what became “Ô les mains,” a collaborative photo illustration series Hosseiny recently created with photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte.
In the series, hands appear to manipulate and control the individual. Fingers spring from the least expected crevices of the human body, emerging from the sitters’ stomachs, necks and even genitals as if the models were possessed by poltergeists (or perhaps, the hands of fate?). “Technically, these pictures were very difficult to achieve,” said Hosseiny in an email to Hi-Fructose. “Connections between light and shadows, faces, bodies and especially hands which were photographed separately seemed sometimes technically impossible to achieve. When you are making photos with the human skin, any single imperfection is seen immediately.”