I had met designer Marcel Dejure at the Hive Gallery in LA and wanted to shoot the mutant muppet fashion he created. I could tell he had a lot of the same cultural reference points as I had, and crucially his clothes had a well-defined personality. I approached a couple LA models and my regular hairstylist in LA to round out the crew, and built the concept around things that were absurd, post apocalyptic, cartoony.
My inspiration comes from movies, comics and tv shows I grew up on in the 1980s. I thought of the Japanese films Akira and Tetsuo Iron Man, which both involve limbs being replaced by machine parts, and I remembered I saw a cardboard arm contruction kit on facebook. The arms were purchased as a kit from etsy and took a few days to assemble and tape up using reflective duct tape. I had 2 arms, but 2 models, so I asked Marcel to make a two-headed outfit so our models could be conjoined. Even the hairstyles were pulled from anime art.
The final touches to the images involved actual embroidery, as done by my wife Vesna Miller, and illustration, as done by illustrator Maggie Lei, in the space around the models. The photos were taken as cleanly as possible against white so there was space to include these mixed media factors. For Maggie’s illustrations, I asked her to design stuff along the lines of the large monsters from the Muppet show and have them in positions around the models.