Hands hold many messages. They are symbolic of personal power, capability, action, autonomy, self-expression, appeal, intelligence, language and more. DA’s hands are always part of his musical messages. However, when he is not singing, he can tend to down-play them; tuck, and fold them away with his thoughts behind those magnificent eyes.
In this photo, it seems to me that Matt Clayton has deliberately down played most of the rest of DA: his legs, torso, arms, shoulders and head are all in positions of rest or pulling back. His hands however, are bared, sleeves rolled back in preparation for action, every digit brought to full relief with light and shadow as though sculpted. The hands seem aware, fully present, caught in that moment before movement. What happens next as their purpose becomes realized, the eyes open, the head rises and body unfolds, will be a revelation.
Matt Clayton seems to me to tell stories with his work. It would be fun to know what he is thinking. There are so many ways to go with the Matt Clayton photo, e. g., pulling back before you move forward, as a metaphor for the mission, as a metaphor for our own lives, looking inward from where the “newness” actually comes from.
I looked up some of Matt Clayton’s more recent work and he shows such respect for the human body: that is, he picks settings and textures and backgrounds that show a reverence for not only the people involved and their “topic” but for human beings in general. I am not used to this.
And the pic of him sitting by DA is so fun. He has the whole design of the picture: light and dark, shadows and objects, all pointing to DA. while he sits on a lower box in the shadow. It is as though, even while he is ostensibly in the photo, he is still the observer. Only this time he is observing us observing him. That is__he is looking at us looking at DA. HIS DA. I find that so funny. I think he has a great sense of humor under it all. So I guess what I am saying is, that he not only shows respect for his subject but for his audience as well. He takes his art seriously, but not himself. Remind you of anyone?
“In Art, man reveals himself and not his objects.”