EDWARD RUBIN, SHORTLISTED 3TH EDITION OF THE BIENNIAL’S GRANT

WOMEN WHO MARCH– PORTRAITS OF EMPOWERMENT

I am an American man who is a feminist. I am an American man who believes that

women and men are equals emotionally, intellectually, creatively, intuitively, artistically,

sensually, and spiritually. I am an American man who is sick, angry, terrified, and

nauseated by the disgusting and flagrant misogyny of our current president. I am an

American man who is filled with anxiety from the attacks on institutions such as Planned

Parenthood that provide services which many women desperately need. I am an

American man who is enraged when I hear that women and men are not paid equally

for performing the same job. I am an American man who, after the Harvey Weinstein

expose, asked all of his women friends if they had ever been sexually harassed, either

in the workplace or anywhere else, and every one of them said yes. Every one of them.

And I know a lot of women.

I took these portraits during the 2018 Womens March in Los Angeles. The mission of

the march, as stated on the website www.womensmarch.com, is “to harness the political

power of diverse women and their communities to create transformative social change.

Women’s March is a women-led movement providing intersectional education on a

diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists and

organizers to engage in their local communities through trainings, outreach programs,

and events. Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through

nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination,

dignity, and respect.”

The Womens March exploded in cities across the country and the world, born from

anger and frustration and the need to not only reclaim respect and dignity, but to also

celebrate and express joy together. In the great tradition of street photography, I have

captured unvarnished, authentic images of women in the moment of feeling their power,

of making a joyful noise, of taking a stand publicly to proclaim their beliefs. Whether

individually or in groups, these women are bold, unafraid, direct, and proud. And

diverse. My portraits include women of different races, ethnicities, cultures and ages;

the women of Los Angeles, united in saying this is who I am, this is who we are, and we

are not backing down. The background of these portraits–Shepard Fairey posters

plastered on a wall–provides not only a consistent environment that ties all of the

subjects together but also serves as a juxtaposition–a graphic commentary–on who is

being photographed: bold, iconic, abstracted women supporting expressive, live, actual

women.

Great art has always reflected back to the viewer something about themselves. I believe

that my twenty portraits, when seen together as a group at the exhibition in Q1, 2019 in

Barcelona, will mirror to anyone looking at them, especially women, their own beauty

and power. If awarded the Biennial Grant, I plan to use part of the money to pay for the

round trip airplane fare from Los Angeles to Barcelona to attend the exhibition; I will

donate the remainder of the money to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, the

organization that provides high-quality, affordable, comprehensive reproductive health

care to women that is currently under attack by the Trump administration.