American artist Isaac Arvold notes that as babies, our hands and feet are among the first things we are aware of. Once we’ve discovered that they are there, our hands are immediately our most useful tool, helping us to feed, and later to crawl, and are capable of ever-more-complex communication. I communicated something fairly rudimentary using my hands to a van driver just the other day. He chased me for two miles until I lost him in a supermarket car park. Our hands, then, are instruments of good and evil, and react so spontaneously to our emotions that they often seem to have a life of their own. Arvold meditates on their significance in his debut solo show These Hands Are Monsters – The Way We Look At Ourselves and the World Around Us.
The collection includes 14 new paintings, six hand-painted prints and a small installation. Just as a dexterous hand can wield a needle to weave a cloth, so it can stab that needle into flesh. These opposing themes crop up throughout Arvold’s work; hard straight lines and softer interlaced threads and furs populate his surreal compositions. The collection is available to view until 20 September at Gallery Poulsen, Copenhagen.