A large sculpture located on Brava Beach in Punta del Este, Uruguay. Whilst commonly referred to as La Mano, the sculpture is also often referred to as ‘Los Dedos’ and the more artistic sounding ‘Hombre Emergiendo a la Vida’.
La Mano was completed in 1982 by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabel as part of sculpture competition held at a conference in Punta del Este. The artist chose to construct his sculpture on the beach as there was no more room in a nearby plaza where the competition was taking place. According to the sculptor, La Mano was intended to be a warning to swimmers, as the waters directly behind the large fingers were better suited to surfing and not swimming.
Constructed over a period of six days the sculpture was made out of a mixture of plastic and concrete with steel reinforcements. Each finger is connected to a large concrete slab buried beneath the sand that allows the sculpture to maintain its shape. A special sealant covers the surface of each finger to reduce the effects of the sun and the sea air.
Although only ever meant to be temporary, the sculpture still stands today. Since its completion the hand has become synonymous with Punta de Este — one of the city’s top attractions. Similar sculptures by Irarrázabel can be found in Madrid, Venice and in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile. If you ever find yourself in Punta del Este, La Mano is the perfect place for a selfie to remind you of your time in this picturesque Uruguayan coastal city.