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Los Manos cave painting on sandstone

Los Manos cave painting on sandstone

Hand prints are found on rock art on almost every continent (and maybe even Antarctica by now) and some of the earliest images left by humans. There could be many different meanings for hand prints—as a signature, as a clan symbol, as part of a ceremony— but all of the group hand prints suggest uniquely human community.

I've used black, white, iron oxide red, burnt umber and black manganese paints to create a diverse group of hand prints like those found at Cueva de las Manos in Argentina. The hand prints in this cave date from 9,000 to 13,000 years old. The artists put one hand on the wall and sprayed pigment through a tube over it. Although prehistoric, the composition is surprisingly modern and abstract. My idea was to make them look as they did freshly painted. The earth-based paints I use are light-fast and, with care, should last another 13,000 years!

  • About the Stone...

    This painting is on a piece of cream Arizona sandstone. The stone is approx. 12" x 17.75. It is signed on the back, and has a hanging wire securely epoxied on the back. The stone comes with an brief card which gives a brief story about the art and techniques.

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