Art takes many forms in the world today and in this article, we look at shoes as an expression of creativity
If you’ve seen our “What are Shoes Really For?” article, you know we are fascinated by shoes. Writing that article, we discovered dozens of designers – established and upcoming – who push the boundaries of shoe design to create avant garde masterpieces.
They aren’t constrained by functionality, but instead express creativity by experimenting with materials, techniques and the form a shoe can take. Some take inspiration from everyday objects and combine it with pure imagination. Others seem to find inspiration within, creating pieces unlike anything we could have imagined.
Regardless of where their ideas come from, the result is a set of avant garde shoes we think deserve to be displayed in art galleries. There are many out there, and this is our current list of shoes that make our top 10 in no particular order.
Leanie’s view is that terms such as beautiful, ugly, sexy and scary reflect our own perceptions, and our understanding of the terms are based on assumptions and rules we’ve learned. These shoes are meant to question the boundaries of these assumptions.
“Scary Beautiful” redefines our expectation of a shoe by forcing wearers to lean forward onto their shins into a strange squat. As you’ll see in the video of someone trying to walk in them, the result is strangely disturbing to watch.
Without wanting to rehash the question of “What is Art?”, we’re sure these count – not just because of their appearance, but for what they do to us emotionally.
Marloes ten Bhömer has won critical acclaim for her shoes – and yes, they have been exhibited in museums and art galleries worldwide. Design critic Shumon Basar says of her:
“If the key commandment of glamorous, upscale shoe design for women is to amplify and exaggerate the curves of the human foot, ten Bhömer’s shoes are riotous and sensuous sinners”
The Noheelsshoe is as much an experiment in techniques and materials as aesthetic design. According to her website, it’s a “Study that explores the possible formal qualities when producing “Noheelsshoe” in rotating mould. Rotational moulding is a process in which a negative mould is filled with a small amount liquid and as the mould starts to rotate, this material solidifies against the inner walls of the mould, forming a shell, a hollow form.”
This Manila based young shoe designer is a Central Saint Martins graduate and a favourite of celebrities like Lady Gaga. He believes that
“It’s a common juxtaposition in today’s art, but to experience actual fear and fantasy was and still is my primary goal.”
Polypodis owes its inspiration to the octopus in a tube at Norway’s Munch Museum. Tesoro’s meticulous sculpting of the shoe is well documented on his social media, ending with the metamorphosis into a shoe of beautiful gem green tentacles.
You won’t be surprised to learn that his shoes have been exhibited in museums and galleries.
Regular readers will know that Peter Popps is someone whose creativity enthrals us time after time. We aren’t going to say any more about Peter here, because we think he and his work deserve a separate article all to themselves.
For now, we’re showcasing another pair favoured by Lady Gaga as you can see in the picture. What do you think of having shoes just to sit around in?