Rena Small (American, b. 1954) 

Small is a conceptual photographer best known for her ongoing series The Artists’ Hands Continuum 20th-21st Century. Begun in 1984, this series uses black-and-white film to photograph the hands of artists, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Christo, Zandra Rhodes, and William Wegman. Small’s work showcases one of the artist’s primary tools—their hands—as an homage to the labor involved in creating artwork, realigning our assumptions of unique portraiture. 

Small earned an MFA and BFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Her works are held in the collections of various museums, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; and the Five Colleges and Historic Deerfield Museum Consortium, Western Massachusetts.