I visited Jeff Koons in his studio in Soho. He walked me around the studio and showed me what he was working on, a series of super-sized paintings he called Easyfun-Ethereal. After the studio tour, he showed me the things he had prepared for the Conde Nast shoot. Koons was preparing to travel to Italy to visit his son, who was living with his ex-wife, Cicciolina. Everything he would pack he had bought brand new (though maybe not the suit jacket). Koons treated the shoot as an art project. I loved the fact that he’d thought about it in such detail. It was personal in the sense that these were all things he had chosen himself, but impersonal in the sense that none of them had yet been used—a little sterile, perhaps, but certainly well thought out.
Philippe Starck, on the other hand, came barging into my studio and, with a heavy French accent, immediately displayed the contents of his bag: a camera, a phone, a toothbrush, a Jimi Hendrix CD, and a vibrator, among other items. I decided to shoot all of the objects separately and then make a collage of the images.
The offering from Donatella Versace was pretty disappointing, unfortunately. It looked as if her PR team had sent me a bag of randomly gathered stuff.
Thanks to photo editor Esin Goknar for one of the best stories i’ve ever been assigned—fun and challenging at the same time.