Bill Westheimer, Manual: The Personalities of Hands

Saturday, October 22nd 1pm 

Manual The Personalities of Hands is a book of portraits with a twist: personal stories and private secrets told through images of hands. Readers witness the diverse range of humanity through photographs and photograms of hands rather than traditional pictures of faces. The photographs also make up a fine art exhibition.

Bill Westheimer has captured the hands of 150 people from diverse walks of life, including a priest, rock star, trapeze artist and politician. The meaty strong manly hands of a butcher and the wrinkled womanly and wise hands of a teacher tell stories and hint at mysteries which captivate the reader. The book is far more than a series of interesting photographs because these hands reveal the subjects humanity, reflecting personality, occupation, creativity and aspirations.

Using techniques both historic and modern, Westheimer gives us hand portraits from three perspectives. We see the photographer s perception of the subject s hand as captured by a 19th century wet plate glass negative; we witness their hand and gesture as revealed by a camera-less photogram created in a collaboration between subject and photographer; and we perceive their self image in a brief handwritten statement.

Bill Westheimer s photography has been used for scores of book covers with a wide range of publishers, dozens of corporate annual reports and countless editorial projects over the past 25 years. His extensive experience as a commercial photographer proves him professional, reliable and dependable.

His Camera Obscura views of New York created with Charles Schwartz were recently exhibited at the Alan Klotz Gallery in New York s Chelsea gallery district and The Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati. Westheimer s work is in numerous collections including Atlantic Richfield Corp., JP Morgan Chase, Cincinnati Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Goldman Sachs, Laguna Beach Museum and Pacific Bell.

He received a B.A. in philosophy from Union College with additional study in photographic and graphic art. He has studied with renowned photographers such as Jerry Burchfield and Mark Osterman.

Event date: 
Saturday, October 22, 2011 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Event address: 
54 Fairfield St.
07042-4137 Montclair