Thelma and Louise, Cheech and Chong and Bert and Ernie are all iconic dynamic duos that have made an impact on popular culture. Now let me add another duo to the roster: Mothmeister. Mothmeister are a duo from Antwerp, Belgium and are comprised of a graphic designer and an artistic director. They’ve kept their identities, as well as their faces, out of the public eye, instead letting their art speak for itself.
There are three main elements that make up a Mothmeister photoshoot, the first being an impressive background. Instead of posing their subjects in front of a blank backdrop, Mothmeister travels the globe in order to find unusual and interesting backgrounds. Their backgrounds add to the overall fantasy of the photography, transporting audiences to haunting beaches, monochromatic deserts and frigid tundras.
The second element of Mothmeister is the costumes. They outfit their models in ornate vintage clothing, from clown suits to religious robes to obsolete uniforms. Their clothes tell a story and the model’s face is always obscured by some manner of a mask. The masks are one of the most captivating parts of their photography, leaving the viewer haunted by what they’ve just seen. Many of their masks are handmade, mimicking vintage dolls and drawings. Some of their masks are made using real human hair and teeth as well, adding to the darkness of the photography.
Lastly, all Mothmeister photography includes a taxidermied animal. Although not taxidermists themselves, Mothmeister finds taxidermy online or in flea markets, picking from a variety of species—sheep, snakes, cats, birds and rodents, just to name a few. They often opt for unusual and out of the ordinary taxidermy, where the animal looks more like a fantasy creature than a true living being.
Take a look at some of Mothmeister’s other works in the gallery below and let us know your thoughts on their art in the comments section on social media.