Friday, February 4, 2011
The Little duck in the red Shoes
Well…….. I finally took a shot at the duck hiding behind the read stilettos. For some reason, I assumed that shop was into some sort of erotic sales. I think it was because the red shoes set my hormones at work. I was surprised however, to see that it was a shop specializing in vintage apparel.
I am not into this market but I could not help looking further to see what the shop had to offer. After all I am an artist and they say that shoe design is truly an art form. As I scrolled down through the listings I began to reminisce about my studies at Art school. We studied an artist was one who was deep into women’s shoes.
His name was Andy Warhol. I smiled to myself as I tried to envision my senior year Pop Art Professor standing in front of the class wearing these striking red shoes discussing Warhol’s famous Norma Jeane, (Marilyn Monroe) silkscreens. Marilyn would wear these shoes but my prof; she was always dressed so conservatively. She knew art and art history but I don’t think she would fit the template necessary to wear these luscious ripe delicate sculptures.
My Art class was a not like a regular Art History class. It was a symposium. I believe our professor was preparing us for a life of marketing art. We had to role play for many of our projects. One time we were all required to research a given artist in order to advise her the best time to buy the artist’s work, as an investment.
Another occasion we were all assigned a character that was in the six degrees of Andy Warhol’s activities. We were to dress the part and to give a presentation on how we came to know Andy. It was make believe but we still had to research all the facts as to when the character was in contact with Andy. I was assigned to be Tennessee Williams. I remember looking up photographs of how he dressed and read much about his writings and plays. We gave our presentation as a press release and the students in the class in turn acted as news reporters. They asked questions to the characters and we would do our best to answer, as if we were really the character.
It was really interesting. Other students were given characters such as Jacqueline Onassis, Tom Wesselmann and Judy Garland. Everyone showed up dressed the part in vintage clothes. That class was a real blast. I also noted that in our class of about thirty students, there were only two people who lived the era of Andy Warhol. My professor and myself. I realized at that time that I was no longer a spring chicken.
Back to Andy Warhol, He knew about shoes because he had to work as an illustrator drawing shoes for a department’s store. His duties also required him to do the window dressing with shoes. I remember seeing a large coffee table book on shoes that Warhol had written. It was a collection of all of his drawings of shoes. So shoes are import in the world of art.
The duck in the red shoes would surely be Andy Warhol’s best friend. She has a great selection of vintage fashion. I would place most of the pieces in the category of Haut Couture. I am sure that some of these fashions were worn by the major history makers of the sixties and seventies. The clothes are still fashionable today. I can hear my wife’s words in the back of my head, “quality fashion and workmanship will always be in demand.” I think she is right.
Shoes and clothes are a real art form that will be displayed in major museums well into the future.
Why not wear a bit of history, a bit of fashion and a bit of flash. Just think of those red shoes and the little duck behind them.