At first glance, these look like pretty standard portraits. They show close-ups of men on dark backgrounds that are dramatically lit from above. But if you look closely enough, you”ll see it.

Conceptualized by artist and art director Babak Hosseiny and realized by photographer Jeffrey Vanhoutte, the series O les mains takes the human body and turns it into its own uncomfortable narrative.

The series sees its subjects” hands attached to various places on their bodies, reaching out with their fingers as though they have minds of their own. Sometimes they seem to hinder the person and sometimes they seem like natural appendages. Every one of them, though, looks like a gesture they are hands after all. They illuminate the mood and mindset of each subject.

The project was created by Hosseiny, who was inspired after reading the opening quote from Ludwig Wittgenstein”s On Certainty: “If you do know that here is one hand, we”ll grant you all the rest.”

According to Hosseiny, it was that quote that spurred the creation of the series. He says that he, “imagined a series of drawings of situations where hands are no longer only hands, but become the physical embodiments of the obstacles, wishes, or fears of the individual.

(via Laughing Squid)

You can see more work by these two artists on Vanhoutten”s website and Hosseiny”s Behance page. You can also find some behind-the-scenes images that”ll show you how these effects were achieved (some images are NSFW, so beware). This is their first collaborative project, and they are currently working on a second.

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