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Inverted Art– "Not just a style, it's a message to be told"

Art form practiced by Jerry Rodriguez

By Mehr Sohal

Self-taught artist, Jerry Rodriguez (@ijerryrodriguez), has adopted an inverted art style during these difficult times of racism and injustice. If you're confused about what 'inverted' is, think about the setting on most of our phones that invert the colours creating a quirky phone screen. However, Jerry is using this setting to see the world through a different lens.

The painting on the left is the original work, created with several different hues and shades of blue. Whereas the image on the right shows the normal colours taken with an inverted-reverse camera (I suppose...I really don't know the technical details behind this). It's quite interesting how the negative version of the artwork has far fewer details, and yet reveals a painting with great depth and intricate details. Nonetheless, the important message this style communicates is a negative to positive shift (#NegativetoPositive). This really resonates with the values of 'The Joyful Peach' :).

Now while the concept of inverted art is in itself truly revolutionary and modern, Jerry has taken this one more step forward by connecting it to the looming problem of racial discrimination.

Will Smith– inverted and normal

As can be seen in the above artwork, when using inverted colours, it doesn't matter if your skin colour is white, black, brown, cream, pink; your skin tone will still be blue within this artistic world. Therefore, this art form acts as a reminder that human life is equal– we all have red blood flowing through our veins and we all have blue skin in an inverted setting.

Martin Luther King– inverted and normal

In Jerry's words (from a BuzzFeed video), he also painted a portrait of Martin Luther King in this novel style as he didn't see things like most of us did; he didn't see colour.

I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character – Martin Luther King Jr.

I wish the whole world could switch to an inverted setting for merely a day to come to the epiphanic realisation that colour should not under any circumstance be a determining factor of how one is treated. But until that day comes, I will remain thankful for artists such as Rodriguez who use their artistic power and voice to make a change.

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