Art is a serious thing. But sometimes some associations once they pop up in your head they just can’t disappear.
I didn’t find any scientific evidence for it but when you look at Egon Schiele’s portraits and self-portraits it seems he had some kind of a hand fetish.
It is a recurring theme in the portraits of Schiele. The subject’s fingers are painted or drawn long in all kinds of open, twisted and strange symbolic gestures. Schiele’s hands and fingers are dislocated and unnatural. Often they are larger than the natural ones. Every knuckle and every joint are exaggerated and carefully articulated.
You probably know this gesture:
In a hip hop culture this “W” signifying alliance to the West Coast, in contradiction to the East Coast hip hop scene.
Here are ten times when Egon Schiele painted, drawn or posed on a photograph with this gesture (or something similar).
1. Self-portrait as St. Sebastian
2. The Poet (Self-Portrait)
3. Mime van Osen
4. Self-Portrait with Peacock Waistcoat
5. Self-Portrait with Lowered Head
6. Self-Portrait with Folded Hands
7. Gustav Klimt
8. The Hand
9. Photographic self-portrait with eyes closed
10. Another photographic portrait
Btw. if you don’t have enough of Egon Schiele (I never have!) you should visit Albertina Museum in Vienna which from February 22nd until June 18th hosts a comprehensive exhibition of artworks by Egon Schiele which presents 160 of Schiele’s most magnificent gouaches and drawings.