TWO’S COMPANY – A PROJECT BY CNX STUDIOS. On one rainy Saturday morning, Stylist Max Saward and Colombian model Ricardo Dominguez get together to talk about their influences, hopes, dreams and explain how they aim to appreciate and represent non-binary bodies in their work and every day lives. Inspired by the friendship shared between them, they explore an informal play on youth culture and gender stereotypes found in modern day society; specifically based around different ages a person can be in their life, and they people they wish to become.
Whether we are rebelling against a strict male or female uniform in our teens; or conforming to societies critical gaze in our adult life, it is important to remember that this perception of ourselves is oscillating upon an ever changing spectrum of personal appearance and emotional validation
How did your background shape the person you are today?
Ricardo: I think, growing up, when I was back in Colombia people had a whole different perspective on gender. After I started to travel I think my own prejudices started to change and I became more open minded myself.
Do you feel as though you faced any challenges based around your appearance?
Ricardo: Definitely. I feel like people are always expecting me to be or to act a certain way just by the way I look in pictures – and then they meet me face to face kind of meet the human behind all of it and it comes as a surprise.
Would you say the majority of your friends are male or female?
Ricardo: I’d say I have a lot of cis females and cis male but I also have quite a few of non binary friends with different pronouns.
Why is your personal image so important to you?
Ricardo: It’s not about vanity for me- but when I have met people that identify as “straight” that find me attractive, I have found myself suddenly having this huge discussion about their own spectrum of sexuality. When people feel comfortable to discuss it because I myself am androgynous, that’s when I start to be proud of my image and what it can do.. in baby steps. It becomes more about what I’ll do with my soul and my feelings to make them overcome my external appearance.
Do you have any alter egos? If so when do they come into play?
Ricardo: I have many. Most of them come when I’m working, I like to give them names and it all depends on what the mood for the shoot is. I like to give them a name and a personality and a purpose. Other than that I think my faerie alter ego it’s called sunshine..
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be and why? Ricardo: Everything would be communal and we would share everything. What are your hopes for the future of gender equality inside and outside of our industry?
Ricardo: I hope that the day where our gender or sexuality won’t matter at any point of the conversation. Or where we’re all gonna be so open minded and chilled about it that we don’t have to fight over stigmas or even when speaking about the unfair reality of white privilege without ‘offending’ half of the internet.
A PROJECT BY CNX STUDIOS
ART DIRECTION, STYLING AND WORDS BY MAX SAWARD @maxsaward
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LUCAS FONSECA @__lucasfonseca
MUA ALEX ORIGUELLA @alexoriguella
MODELS MAX SAWARD & RICARDO DOMINGUEZ @ricc_dominguez