Right across from the bus terminal in Punta Del Este at Parada 1, Bravo Beach, is ” The Hand.”

It is difficult not to see. The Hand is only the tips of three fingers and a thumb rising out of the beach, but it motions to you to come closer.

This sculpture was created in 1982 by a Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrazabel as part of an art competition and it wasn’t, at first, the most favored of projects.

It has remained here since then, intact.

The fingers rise out of the sand higher than most people stand. The materials are concrete and steel, and the gray exterior coating on the fingers has resins that hold up to the weather and give the feeling of flesh to the digits. 

The art work has been called “Men Emerging to Life,” “Monument of the Fingers,” “Monument to the Drowned,” “The Hand.” The artist doesn’t like the third title much, according to Wikipedia, but once your works are on their own you can’t say much about how they are received and what is done to them.

This afternoon visitors pose, touch the fingers, hug the Hand.

One morning, it might rise up a bit more, all the way to the wrist.

We would need a ladder to climb up and pose for pictures standing in the palm. .

Regardless of your taste in art, the ” Hand ” will always be a manicurist’s dream job.

I’m dying to see what the rest of the body looks like.


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