With his project Mexicano Mx, photographer Dorian Ulises López Macías has joined a bourgeoning movement centered on shifting Mexican beauty norms away from Eurocentric ideals. Through his photography, Dorian seeks to celebrate Mexican identity in all its many facets, shedding the stereotypes associated with it. His project, along with his work as a photographer for inclusive modeling agency Güerxs, makes a statement at a time when many young people are looking inward to explore and embrace the complex identities born out of Latin America’s colonial history.
I caught up with with Dorian to hear about the work he’s been doing – from the editorials in magazines like Elle and Harper’s Bazaar to his latest project, Mexicano Mx.
When did you start Mexicanos Mx and what inspired you?
It’s more like the project found me. I’ve been photographing people on the streets of Mexico ever since I first held a camera. My dad gave me a Pentax when I was 13, and ever since then I’ve been I’ve been documenting the street scenes and people who caught my eye. But it was only about five years ago that I realized I’d built a photo archive and wanted to continue it. So, shortly after that I conceived of the project, and I started planning trips with the express purpose of finding striking faces to photograph, people willing to have their portraits taken.
Tell us about your best experience during this project so far.
This project has given innumerable great experiences – that’s why it became my obsession. But without a doubt, seeing my portraits in Rafa Esparza’s piece in the Whitney has been one of the cherries on top.
What is what you look to capture in fashion photography, and how do you transform the images into something real, without vanity?
When it comes to fashion, I’m interested in design and creative direction. There are a lot of brilliant minds in the fashion industry. I love playing with the ideas that spring from those minds, as well as working with a team. I’ve met some great collaborators and friends in this industry.
What does being Mexican and being Latino mean to you?
They’re both pretty broad concepts. My search for the answer is what drove me to travel through the streets [of Mexico], and, to the extent that I could, the country. Soon I’ll be planning more trips throughout Latin America, and perhaps in a few years I’ll be able to answer your question.
Who inspires you and who do you identify with?
Over the course of your life you find things that inspire you, but those things evolve as you grow and mature. Film has been a big part ofmy life, and the work of directors like Abbas Kiarostami, Arturo Ripstein, Carlos Reygadas, David Lynch, Jaime Humberto Hermosillo, Jorge Fons, Luis Buñuel, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick, and Krzysztof Kieslowski, among others, have been a huge inspiration. Now I’m much more focused on the work of photographers like Agustín Víctor Casasola, Alex Webb, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Maya Goded, Nacho Lopez, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tim Walker, Vivian Maier, and Viviane Sassen. I also look to artists like Louise Bourgeois and Cindy Sherman. Luckily, my list of inspirations is basically interminable.
What motivates you?
I don’t really have any routines for motivation. Things just appear to me on their own, and motivate me.
What do you wanted to achieve with this project? Any future plans?
Right now I’m focused on making a book – nothing would excite me more than to see these portraits in print. As far as what’s next after that…I don’t know, and I don’t care.
Any advice for emerging Latino creatives?
As Latinos we need to recognize the huge font of inspiration that exists in our own countries, which are full of history and have their own unique voices. We need to rid ourselves of the social complexes we’ve been fed about being Latinos. What we have is as huge, beautiful and worthwhile as any other country in the world. We need to travel around Latin America more to understand it and feel proud of it.