Electronic musician and artist Moby, who was born in Harlem and raised in Connecticut, now lives in a castle in the Hollywood Hills. Called Wolf’s Lair, the home was built in 1927 as a replica of a Norman castle, complete with turrets. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect place to start a post-apocalyptic cult?
That’s effectively what Moby did with his latest photography project, Innocents, now on view at Project Gallery in Hollywood. The series accompanies his most recent album of the same name. For Innocents, Moby dreamt of the cult he might have joined in a parallel universe, in which the Mayan Apocalypse of 2012 actually occurred as predicted. Clad in white sheets and grinning animal masks, these imaginary cult members weren’t prepared for Armageddon, but live, instead, in its aftershock.
The idea for the series came to Moby around the anti-climactic month of December 2012, when he started thinking: “What if the apocalypse has already happened and we just didn’t realize it?” he told the The Hollywood Reporter. “What if the world we’re living in is not pre- but post-apocalyptic?”
It’s a mind-bending idea, and Moby’s photographs capture it perfectly, with banal environments like supermarkets, highway tunnels, and swimming pools made utterly strange by these freakish cult members. His shots of radioactive-looking sunsets of Los Angeles and the kind of clouds frequently described as “apocalyptic” make you think he might have a point here–what if Armageddon is actually behind us?
Moby, who started taking photographs at age 10, jokes that he was ripe for cult culture himself. He’s a joiner by nature: in his 48 years, he’s hopped from the hardcore punk scene to the rave world to a vegan-clean-living lifestyle. “I was so ripe for conversion,” he told Paper Magazine in a recent interview. “Had there been more active cults when I was growing up, I’m sure I would’ve been in one of them.” Perhaps what he’s finally realizing with Innocents is that, given his castle filled with Grammies and enough monkey masks to go around, he’s more of a cult leader.
Innocents is on view at Project Gallery in L.A. until March 30.