We’ll have everything set up in a modern house up north, but I don’t like how they look on camera or how they put makeup on their faces in the first place, it’s hard . These [prosthetic people] are made of components, so I pulled my face off, I just thought they were more interesting to look at. I remember Phyllis saying, “Anna will never put this picture up, it’s horrible.” But she actually ran it. I think in a way, she finds them funny and ironic. The way we pose is serious because it’s like two women during the day. They’re American bourgeois women, and…in a way, it’s so classic.
The question I’ve been trying to figure out is what is a portrait? What is a Victorian portrait? How has it changed and what is it today? Because I always feel like you have to paint things from your time—not copy things from other times.
PP: This photo shows an article about the fear of aging when so many women undergo the same plastic surgery When, say, fillers and Botox, and go to the same group of cosmetic derms, they all start to look alike. I thought Steven would be obsessed with this, and he is. I recommend using twins. Not Steven: He wanted to be photographed on life-size dolls, and he knew where to get them. We ordered two from a guy in Los Angeles where we could style his look according to his vast number of possibilities…big breasts or small, tall or short, curvy or skinny, blond or brunette, little makeup or a lot of. Our size fits the sample. The dolls arrived at Vogue and weighed 80 pounds, I remember us laboriously moving them into fittings stylish wardrobe. Now, the funny thing about this shoot is that no one, neither Anna nor Raul [Martinez, the creative director of Vogue at the time), Admitted that they knew these “real dolls” were anatomically correct.
The next step is to find a location. We wanted a beautiful modern house where rich, glorified women could live. These programs are expensive! We found it in Westchester. We had makeup artist Linda Cantello and hairdresser Paul Hanlon on set to create the look we wanted for the doll. They were not easy to manipulate, and when Linda tried to turn her head and apply makeup to them, she accidentally found that the face fell off. (Steven remembers a different process.) As soon as Steven saw what was below, he made up his mind not to slap them in the face. I’m afraid it was too extreme to run away, but he won that battle. We use the face in a photo to connect with people. What’s remarkable about the doll is that everything moves like a real person: the jaws open and close, every finger and toe of every finger moves, we arch our feet like a dancer, we cross our legs gracefully, our fingers are positioned in a in an awkward way.