Healing Hands Documents the Hands of Operating Surgeons

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All images by Barry Slaven. Used with permission.

Photographer Barry Slaven tells us that he recently got rid of his website, but he’s been working on a project called “Healing Hands” for the past 10 years. He’s been shooting since the late 1960s and is entirely self-taught. Barry became serious about the Healing Hands project after he stopped operating in the OR. “All these photos are black and white, providing an almost abstract, ethereal rendition of the OR. Eliminating faces and personalities, as well as identifiable structures, enhances this effect.” says Barry. “I think eliminating the color eliminates much of the garish, scary, upsetting aspects of surgery and allows the viewer to experience the more subtle, almost sensuous act of surgery itself. I like to think of it as ‘artistic photojournalism’.”

Barry is well known in the operating room and is free to move about pretty much unnoticed to get the angles and views that his creative vision dictates. But before he goes in to shoot, he always asks for the surgeon’s permission. However, because there are no faces he never asks of model releases.

The images from the series are after the jump.

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