Humands, by Mario Mariotti (1983)


Though we sometimes forget, art doesn’t have to be sophisticated, or grand, or expensively made. Never was this more apparent than with the life’s work of the late Italian composer-turned-artist Mario Mariotti (1936-1977), who turned away from his considerable music career to make simplistic art on the most readily available medium: his hands.

With nothing more than thick oil paints and the occasional simple prop, Mariotti transformed his hair-covered hands into a plethora of creative human and animal figures. In Humands (1983), each page is adorned with hand designed as a recognizable figure set against a simple colored background: a musician, a mummy, a skier, a skeleton. His imagination is as surprising as it is wholesome, and each subsequent page is more delightful than the last.