Masculinity and vulnerability don’t always go hand in hand but in this incredible new art exhibition, photographer Michael Stokes has combined the two to make a powerful statement.
Photographing the male form is Stokes’ niche and in his latest collection he has used photos of former US Armed Forces personnel – twist being they have all been left disabled from their time in the service.
— Michael Stokes (@Stokes_Photo) July 8, 2015
The incredible photos depict some of the most masculine men scantily clad but also showing their war wounds – quite literally – through lost limbs, appendages or other injuries.
— Michael Stokes (@Stokes_Photo) June 26, 2015
But don’t be fooled.
These men have not been weakened from their disabilities. The photos work hard to show the power, strength and integrity these men have.
— Michael Stokes (@Stokes_Photo) July 6, 2015
This idea from Stokes is not entirely new. The photographer dedicated a full chapter in his last coffee table book to former soldiers, and the support and love he has received from the photos prompted him to create an entire book dedicated to them in 2015.
— Michael Stokes (@Stokes_Photo) May 20, 2015
And the support has come out of the woodwork tenfold.
A Kickstarter page to raise money for the project has raised almost $260k (over six times his asking pledge).
The coffee table book featuring wounded soldiers is aptly titled ‘Always Loyal’.
— Michael Stokes (@Stokes_Photo) June 29, 2015
What can we say… after seeing these images we definitely want to see more, too!
— Michael Stokes (@Stokes_Photo) March 30, 2015