Our world is defined by the spaces, experiences and relationships that layer one over the other to create the fabric of our existence. It is through the balance and duality that arises within these varied and evolving dynamics that we come to better understand ourselves and the ostensibly linear trajectory of life.
In this editorial series, we explore the relationships that define us and show us what beauty creates, in this world and perhaps the next. Here, creative and romantic partners Drew and Louis examine duality, balance and beauty through self portraits and words.
What is beauty?
D: There’s no single definition of what makes something beautiful, but I think beauty is the feeling that grabs you, that you want to revel in, it washes over you like the sublime.
L: Beauty is what makes you special, individuality is a big part of beauty.
Where does it come from, where can one find it?
D: I think it comes from within, the eye of the beholder after all. Some find it in nature, some find it in a museum, at a concert, or with their lover.
L: You can’t find it anywhere else but within yourself.
Is there power in beauty?
D: Absolutely. The ultimate power.
L: If you believe there’s power in beauty then there is.
"We all need balance to survive, be it an emotional balance or a physical one. I think balance helps us find and reach the peace within ourselves." — Louis
How has beauty shaped the world?
D: Beauty has driven the world for both good and bad. Design in all its mediums drives much of the world, which we all benefit from at some capacity. The problem is when those in power believe in a singular definition of beauty, and try to erase what they see as the alternative.
L: Definitely not the same way globalization has, I can tell you that much for a pint and a pack of crisps.
How does beauty evolve?
D: With time, with immersion of culture, and with patience and awareness of our similarities and differences.
Is beauty in you?
D:I find a lot of beauty in my positivity and perseverance.
L: I have a mole, bang on the center of my nose and I think that’s where all my beauty is stored.
A beauty ritual you can't live without?
D: A hot bath. And the LESSE Bioactive Face Masque.
L: Doing a good smoulder in the mirror before I go out, and telling myself "you're the big bad wolf they all secretly want to be."
How is beauty found in duality?
D: It’s intriguing! It grabs you. You have to look or experience longer, deeper, at something more complex. There’s more than one thing being offered. I think that goes for people and for art.
Does duality exist in you?
D: I enjoy both a pint at the dive, and orange wine at a nice restaurant. I love Los Angeles, and I also want to live in a rural farmhouse. I think most of who I am is my dualities. As someone with a lot of masculine energy, but feminine appearance, I’ve had to make friends with the discomfort of feeling out of place sometimes. I realize now how much of an advantage this actually is. I’ve had my outlook shaped by the queer artistic community I grew up with, where gender play was encouraged, where you don’t have to be just one thing, and I think that has been to the benefit of my self and my art.
L: I think there’s a disconcerting duality in how I appear and how I act.
Where else have you found duality in the world?
D: I’ve seen duality in everyone I’ve ever known. I’ve seen a woman go at a punching bag with incredible skill, and then use the same level of skill on her makeup. I’ve seen one of the toughest guys I know tear up about how much he loves his newborn son. There’s contrast behind everyone, and everything. Light / dark, strong / vulnerable, masculine / feminine. You choose how you want to see it.
L: I have a twin sister. Stand her next to me and there’s a perfect example of duality.
In what ways is duality more becoming than beauty?
D: Duality is what makes us interesting, gives us something to play with, gives us depth. You could say there’s beauty in duality. You could say, beauty IS duality!
L: Beauty is one dimensional whereas duality can be a maximum of two dimensions therefore the law of numbers means duality wins every time.
"Beauty has driven the world for both good and bad... The problem is when those in power believe in a singular definition of beauty, and try to erase what they see as the alternative." — Drew
How does balance define our lives?
D: My mom always tries to emphasize how important balance is in life, in all things. So it was certainly something I grew up being aware of, but I also realized that sometimes the scale tips. I think a healthy lifestyle is often one that is defined by “balance,” that being said, I’ve learned a lot more from the times my life was deeply imbalanced.
L: In many different ways but I think we all need balance to survive, be it an emotional balance or a physical one. I think balance helps us find and reach the peace within ourselves.
Is there balance in you?
D: My hairstylist said the first time I met her, “you’re the perfect balance of cunty and kind!” I don’t think that’s what Mom meant…
L: I have a cultural balance in me, my mother is British and my father is French. I grew up in London but went to a French speaking school my entire life so I’m always balancing two completely different worlds, which I cherish more now than I used to.
Where in the world can you find a most harmonious balance?
D: Classical music at the dive bar.
L: Somewhere in the world where humans have never been.