Brain Pickings

The Surrealist Chart of Erotic Hand Signaling


“You think no one understands / Listen to my hands”

In the early 1920s, Surrealism emerged as a new cultural rhetoric and aesthetic rooted in using the element of surprise to open up new frontiers of the imagination, blending the playful with the philosophical. A Book of Surrealist Games (public library), originally published in 1991, is part activity book for grown-ups, part essential art history, featuring word and image games that the surrealists — including Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Pablo Picasso (to a degree), Max Ernst, and André Breton — developed to create their written and graphical art. Among them is this (very not safe for work, but then again so was the entire decade) erotic hand signaling chart, a naughty adaptation of the standard American Sign Language manual alphabet:

First person to adapt this into an animated GIF gets a piece of candy.

UPDATE: Reader Jamal Qutub did the honors:

Complement with legendary Italian graphic designer Bruno Munari’s vintage primer to Neapolitan hand gestures.

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