Every autumn, W Magazine dedicates one cover story to the world of contemporary art. The resulting imagery never falters in its ability to cause commotion, as the periodical succeeds in uniting the worlds of high-fashion, celebrity and art into one. Past covers have seen Angelina Jolie photographed by then-beau Brad Pitt and Linda Evangelista through the lens of Maurizio Cattelan. This year, W Magazine does it again, with Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid – arguably two of fashion’s most buzz-worthy figures – gracing the magazine for its 10th anniversary art issue. Working alongside video artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin, the supermodels have been transformed into human-animal hybrids through heavy digital altering. Entitled “Placebo Pets”, the editorial creates an alternate reality that asks us: “Who would survive if a superior alien humanoid species came to earth?”
Dressed in the latest trends by Philipp Plein and Hood by Air, the royal heiresses of reality television each tackle the role of a post-gender, post-biracial being. The visuals are reminiscent of Snapchat’s ubiquitous face-altering filters, with Jenner’s features exaggerated to create a bunny-cat and Hadid’s amplified to morph her into a lion-fox. New identities in tow, both women live in an imaginary future created by Fitch and Trecartin. This new universe is not far from the one we inhabit now, with the creative duo hoping to offer a critical eye into our present-day human behaviour.
By abandoning all ideas of sexuality, gender and race, Jenner and Hadid become unspecified, universal characters. In turn, this places focus on other components from the post-everything future that’s presented. Viewers are forced to confront the ways in which we allow outside forces such as technology – and even pets – to influence our behaviours. Trecartin expands on this idea on W’s website, theorising: “Training and taming something is not one-sided. We created social media, but then it changed us because we interacted with it. It transforms us and transforms the next thing that happens just by existing. You can’t really avoid being trained.” Scroll down below to watch the video project in its entirety and enter the bizarre universe of Fitch and Trecartin.
More information on W Magazine’s 10th anniversary art issue is available at wmagazine.com
Styling by Patrick Mackie