Andy Warhol. Shoes are art.

When we hear Andy Warhol’s name, the first thing that comes to mind is round glasses, long fringe and almost crazy look in the eyes, Monroe’s portrait with yellow hair and light blue eye shadow and numerous experiments with Leonardo’s Mona Lisa. Whereas there was another side of the medal, which not many people have heard of: before achieving fame and world-wide known reputation, the young artist drew sketches of shows and accessories, and only after that he found himself interested in video- and contemporary art in all its outcomes. Whilst he could easily become one of the top fashion designers. His sketches and drawings were truly amazing, while some shoe models even had that futuristic design, which could be seen on the catwalks nowadays. 

One day Andy Warhol brought his portfolio to the head quarters of Harper’s Bazaar magazine and showed it to its editor, Carmel Snow. At that exact moment she understood that this person was able to reincarnate the world of fashion, beauty and advertisement.

Enormous success, so anticipated by Andy, was eventually brought about by the golden shoes – an advertisement, which emphasized the elegance and refinement of taste, attracted potential clients with its eccentricity and originality. The captions below the sketches were written by Andy’s mother - Julie, whose writing seemed incredibly beautiful to him: - “Uncle Sam wants these shoes”.

“Andy and I launched an unprecedented campaign at the time. Every Sunday we published advertisements in the “New York Times”, a page or half a page long. I was a truly wonderful campaign for Andy, as an artist, as well as for I. Miller’s shoes. This has expanded his audience to such an extent, as would have never be done by any magazine article. These stunning fantasies especially stood out and looked impressive in contrast to the sea of tiny pictures on the “Times’” pages. This advertisement granted the I. Miller’s company a new life, revived it and transformed it from a dilapidated, decrepit widows’ place into the fashionable shop for secular girls.” Art-director, Geraldine Stutz.

The next “golden” step for Andy Warhol was his collaboration with Dior. In the fifties, “New Look” by Christian Dior praised groom and puppetry. Andy, on the other hand, has gone the opposite way. He wanted everyone to perceive the women of that time as being sexy, liberated and appealing to men. Creative approach enabled him to solve the ever-lasting conflict of mass culture, art and everyday routine. Pink heels, leather, gold – all shoe models looked “gaudy” and emphasized the bright individuality of every woman. It immediately became very popular among the representatives of the fairer sex of the time, so that soon the advertisement entered the new epoch – from now on it was a show.

 

Andy’s shoes should be served on a tray, just like cupcakes. It could be no longer called simply “an advertisement”, but a “Shoe show in the USA” (under such a title Warhol’s sketches were published in the “Life” magazine). Nevertheless, a landslide success in advertisement was only a beginning of his career.

At one point Andy realized that advertisement in any shape or form – is nothing more, but a shadow of anonymity, whilst he still desired fame. That is exactly the reason why he made a so-called revolution, which altered all principles of advertisement: product shall no longer gain its popularity due to the artist, but the artist shall become famous due to the product. Mick Jagger himself has once said: - “If you want to know what exactly was popular in the US at that period, you should look at the art works of Andy Warhol.”

The inner sense, along with his own vision of things never failed the artist. Not to be afraid to express himself and state his opinion, to stand out from the others and to be different, unique – that is, what was Andy Warhol’s favorite thing to do. Most importantly, that exactly for this he was loved and cherished.

 

 

OTHER TOPICS:

Maria Sharapova. The shoe designer.

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