Guido Daniele on his “hand-painting” art


Guido Daniele is an internationally renowned Italian artist, who paints mainly on human hands and bodies. His most famous artworks belong to the “Handimals” collection (“Manimali”), which features animal figures painted on individuals’ hands.



Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in 1950 in Soverato, a small seaside town located in Calabria, a region of south of Italy. However, at the age of 3 my family moved to Milan, so I have been living there since. I love Milan as it’s a small multi-cultural city with a great artistic heritage: “the last supper” by Leonardo da Vinci is there, many famous paintings are exposed in the Brera Museum, etc.


When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?

I realised I wanted to be an artist during my first year of elementary school. I was only 5 years old when my teacher asked me to make a greeting card for the headmaster. It was obvious that I was the most creative and artistic child in the whole school, so after that episode all my classmates began to ask me to do their drawings and caricatures.

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What is your first memory of art?

I remember once I drew a galloping horse with a sunset in the background. I used all possible shades to colour the sunset. Horse riding still remains my favourite sport.

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Could you tell us about “Handimals”? How did you first come up with the idea of painting animals on individuals’ hands?

In 2000 a young Art Director (Michele Bedeschi) asked me if I was able to paint animals on people’s hands without using Photoshop. After I tried doing it, I was the first one to be positively surprised with the beautiful result! I did not know that a great artist from Florence (Mario Mariotti who died in 1997) did the same artistic research (hand-painting) before me. From 2000 onwards I began my research on the “Handimals”.

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 Why do you think your work is so well received?

Probably because hands—after the face—are the most expressive parts of our body, and we all have them in front of our eyes every day. So seeing hands transforming into so many different things, such as animals or natural environments, is something that surely fascinates peoples, both children and adults.


Where do you gather most of the inspiration for your works?

I just look at my hands and try to imagine all different things and animals they could turn into.


Who are your idols?

Mantegna, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raffaello, Bronzino, Caravaggio, Klimt, Hokusai, Hiroshige, Gaugin.


Professionally, what is your dream goal?

To be able to paint until I die of old age.


What is your favourite artwork you have ever made?

In 2012 the mayor of Posada—a small town situated on the island of Sardinia, where 35 years ago I built my vacation home with my own hands—asked me to paint the wall beside the village’s entrance. The theme for the painting was a river park habited by animals. In Sardinia there are a lot of hunters, and so the aim of this painting (SEE PICTURES BELOW) was—is—to invite all people to admire the animals without killing them.


I asked all my friends and acquaintances to join in the making of the painting so that it would have become a collective work. The artwork wouldn’t have been just mine, but everyone’s. A lot of my friends brought their children along and helped me paint. The result of 45 days of work can be seen on my website. Next year I will probably do a similar project in Hamburg (Germany).

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Is there a place you can go to that gives you inspiration when you paint?

I get inspired when immersed in the wild nature and when I am in historical places. I love Europe, Italy, Sardinia, Ladakh, Tibet, Mongolia, India, Madagascar, Seychelles, Thailand, Bali, North America, South America and Cuba. I am sure I can also get inspired when I am in all the places I dream to visit in the future.

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Could you share with us a day in the life of Guido Daniele?

When I’m in my house in Milan—where I live alone—I would usually get up every morning and have a cappuccino with cookies. I would then turn my computer on and work until evening, taking a break only to cook, eat and wash the dishes. For example, today I spent the whole morning answering this interview!

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What is your life philosophy?

I am a Buddhist, Shintoist and Shamanic. I believe in peace, respect for human life and for every living being. Respect for nature in all its forms: from water, land to air, plants, animals and men.

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Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Planet Earth is our home, our mother, and for this we must protect it and respect it. There isn’t another planet in the universe-known-to-us, where we could find a similar environment than the one we have on the Earth.

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For more information visit Guido Daniele’s website, and Facebook page.


(Photos from

One response to “Guido Daniele on his “hand-painting” art

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