This series is focused on a single image, that of the human hand. As the artist explains: ‘Hands are an abstraction of the people they belong to. Hands tell stories, express emotions and symbolise historic events. Hands’ gestures surpass languages and are universally understood.’
The painter is thus free to tackle a wide variety of situations and emotions. Once again, however, there are strong elements of political and social commentary, which manifest themselves throughout Humm’s work.
In this respect it is worth noting the special technique used here. Rather than being painted on a white ground, the paintings are on large sheets of velvet black watercolour paper. What this means is that the artist is often painting in reverse. For darker areas, he is lifting colour off rather than adding colour on to the surface. This gives the images a slightly uncanny feeling, as if they are floating towards one in a world whose boundaries are undefined. As if, in fact, they are the product of a dream.
…text by Edward Lucie Smith October 2016