The Hands Resist Him

“The Hands Resist Him” by Bill Stoneham: A Journey into the Mystery of Contemporary Art


“The Hands Resist Him” is an enigmatic painting created by the Californian artist Bill Stoneham in 1972. This work has gained considerable notoriety, not only for its artistic value but also for the urban legend that surrounds it.

Description of the Work

The painting depicts a young boy and a female doll positioned in front of a glass door with spectral hands reaching out towards them. The scene is evocative and laden with symbolism, creating an eerie and mysterious atmosphere.

The Mystery of the Work

The fame of “The Hands Resist Him” has been amplified by an urban legend claiming that the artwork is cursed. It is said that anyone who owns the painting or views it would experience sinister events and even death. This narrative has contributed to giving the painting an aura of mystery and fascination.


Stoneham has stated that the work represents his troubled childhood and the transition from the world of childhood to adulthood. The reaching hands symbolize the past haunting the artist, while the glass door represents the boundary between the two worlds.

Media Impact

The painting gained significant visibility in 2000 when it was put up for sale on eBay, accompanied by the legend of its curse. This attracted media attention and helped solidify its fame.

In Conclusion

This work remains a fascinating enigma in contemporary art, skillfully combining emotional symbolism and mystery, prompting questions and reflections on art and its ability to influence human perception.

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