New York City resident Peter Kokis never fails to turn heads when he walks down the street. Though admittedly he’s usually wearing one of his extraordinary robot costumes at the time.
A new documentary short by We Are Films offers a fascinating look at Kokis and his Transformers-inspired creations, all of which he painstakingly assembles using household trash and any other items you might find around the home.
“The more mechanical something looks, the more I can use it in one of my robots,” Kokis says in the film. He points to a couple of his more elaborate costumes and lists what they’re made with. There’s a garlic grater, a contact lens case, something “off a toilet,” a lens from a pair of sunglasses, the spine of an office chair, a juicer, an egg slicer … you name it, it’s probably been incorporated into one of Kokis’ intricately designed creations.
His home is his workshop — the projects begin on his kitchen table — though he says that after years of indulging in his hobby, the robot suits have now “taken over most of my living space.”
Kokis: “I bring my art to life”
“[Where a] painter or sculptor creates something and maybe puts it in a gallery … I create my art and then bring my art to life by taking it out in public and interacting with the environment and with people,” Kokis says in the film.
Indeed, one clip in the film shows him bounding along the street hidden inside one of his enormous, imposing suits. Passers-by clearly love what they see, with kids especially eager to face off with something that looks like it’s just stepped off a movie set.
When he’s not taking a stroll through his neighborhood, Kokis also wears his costumes for local processions and other events, though their heaviness — they can weigh as much as 170 pounds (77 kg) — means it can be hard work to keep moving, even more so during a hot and sticky New York City summer.
But the talented creator clearly loves what he’s doing, insisting, “I ain’t stopping until someone makes me stop.” Or until his back gives out, perhaps.
To see more of his work, be sure to check out Kokis’ website.