Hand in Hand with @benedettodemaio

For more from Benedetto’s hand series and studies in blue, follow @benedettodemaio on Instagram.

"I define myself first and foremost as a draftsman," states Milan art teacher and Instagrammer Benedetto Demaio (@benedettodemaio). “Drawing is my biggest passion. It’s what identifies me, what makes me alive—my oxygen.”

Benedetto’s photos are often marked by two themes that he holds very dear: his hands and a striking shade of turquoise blue.

As he explains, hands are precious symbols of crafting and making. “They interpret my daily life, express feelings and emotions and draw my thoughts in simple gestures. They move into a luminous non-space, play with objects around me, caressing colors. They live. I entrust them to my senses, all through them I explore my reality, I experience new visual languages and free my creativity. I use my hands to tell my story. They speak about me and for me.”

The turquoise, however, has its roots in his upbringing. He explains, “I live in Milan, but I was born in a village in southern Italy overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The colors of the place where I grew up—the gradients of the rough sea, the shades of the sea bottom, the turquoise that characterizes my work—is an evocation of my origins, the feeling of belonging to a wonderful land, a place that formed me, my home. Inserting a touch of that tone in my work reassures me.”

Though he doesn’t consider himself a photographer, his love of the medium drew him into the Instagram community. “I like this virtual environment where we can draw inspiration and nurture creativity,” he shares. “Most of all, I like the simple way in which we interact with others with whom you share a common passion for photography.”