E&E contributor, Rob Woodcox, has had a great deal of light shined on his body painting work recently. With Pride Month in full swing, Out.com and Pride.com featured Rob’s work and it has continued to trend on the two sites. Incredibly proud and excited for Rob, we had to share the story and full photo collection.
Wear Your Pride began with rainbow colored stripes painted on two friends and fellow activists in the queer community, targets of oppression on the basis of their lifestyle. Specifically, this work speaks for all of those in the gay and queer circles who have been persecuted and murdered for being who they are, especially the victims of nightclub violence in Western Russian territories.
Directed by the young photographer, Rob Woodcox, the set has a very personal expression relating to interconnectivity. He fell in love with the image of two humans interacting and connected within a beautiful visual of paint. Completing this series, an image with the juxtaposition of two individuals with light and dark skin tones creates a yin and yang symbolism to visually define humanity’s interconnectivity.
As Rob has traveled all over the world, he has realized that racism exists everywhere. And although, people in every culture are trying to fight this phenomenon, but it is an unfortunate reality that continues to persist. It’s especially apparent in the United States culture with the country’s historical foundation enmeshed in the dark policies of enslaving people. What the artist finds beautiful about the current day is that we’ve had the opportunity to move so far in our society. While there is still a lot of work to do, some of the most inspiring people have come from a different cultural background or different religion that what would be considered mainstream, allowing for the introduction of fresh ideas and points of view.
The series continues to evolve including a multitude of different races and ethnicities and a variety of different cultural backgrounds; this body of work continues to be a pathway for Rob to express his interconnectivity with the people around him.
The second installment in the series depicts three male subjects embracing each other lovingly. While there exist imbalances with racial discrimination and sexual discrimination in our daily lives, Rob hoped to make a piece that would be empowering for those of us who are oppressed by today’s political climate.
At the end of the day, we hold the answer. We, as a community, have the power of change. Unity is the key to our power which can only be engaged by setting aside our differences and banding together. We are stronger when we’re together, and we hold the arrow to pierce through the oppression, hate, and violence. We hold the potential to defeat our opposition, if we choose to. We will outnumber, and we will be able to come together, not necessarily in an aggressive manner but, but in a way where we can protect and support each other by replacing fear and hate with acceptance and love. We can provide community; we can provide for people who don’t have resources, and give them resources by standing together.