10 Times When Egon Schiele Mastered Hip Hop Hand Gestures

Art is a serious thing. But sometimes some associations once they pop up in your head 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 Egon 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:

The Rapper 2Pac showing "West Coast" sign

In hip-hop culture, this “W” signifies alliance to the West Coast, in contradiction to the East Coast hip hop scene.

Here are 10 times when Egon Schiele painted, drawn or posed on a photograph with this os similar gesture.

1. Self-portrait as St. Sebastian

Egon Schiele, Self-portrait as St. Sebastian, 1914, private collection

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

Egon Schiele, Self-Portrait with Folded Hands, ©Sotheby's Picture Library

7. Gustav Klimt

8. The Hand

Egon Schiele, The Hand, private collection

9. Photographic Self-Portrait with Eyes Closed

10. Another Photographic Portrait

Egon Schiele,1914. Photograph by Anton Josef Trčka, Albertina Museum

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