Sunday, September 14, 2014


Introductory wall welcoming guests into the 'Killer Heels' exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art 

Shoes strike a delicate balance between the creator and consumer, both of whom use the human foot to showcase an outpouring of self expression. Over time, shifts in style and sensitivities account for experiments in height and heel. In a survey spanning 4 centuries of ingenuity, the Brooklyn Museum's curator Lisa Small has assembled an exhibit of over 160 pairs of chausseures alongside objects and paintings that complement or have inspired their construction. From crazy to conservative, Killer Heels, The Art of the High Heeled Shoe documents the evolution of shoes as "fashion's most provocative accessory" [source]. Six specially commissioned short films by artists Ghada Amer, Reza Farkhondeh, Zach Gold, Steven Klein, Nick Knight, Marilyn Minter and Rashaad Newsome complete the showcase. Keep reading for highlights… 

Walter Steiger Unicorn Tayss, Spring 2013

Grace, glamour and grunge have found a match in shoes--whether hidden under a lengthy gown or highlighted by long legs and a short skirt. Straps, sculptures and studs embellish slippers and skyscrapers alike, adding an artistic flair. Fashionable favorites from notable designers Nicholas Kirkwood, Vivienne Westwood and Christian Louboutin are intermingled with turn of the century archetypes and modern sophistication.The broad range of shoes on display highlight similarities over time, across mediums and continents. "A lot of the shoes in the show are decidedly not what I'd call 'sexy high heels.'" curator Small said. "They're difficult aesthetically or meant to be making different kinds of statements rather than the prototypical sexy stiletto." 

Jean-Paul Gaultier Tattoo Boots, Spring/Summer 2012

Originally the word for "dagger," the stiletto has been crowned "killer heel" in both appearance and consequence in the world of shoemaking. Elevated shoes become the epitome of discomfort and risk, serving as objects of transformation through elongating stature, emphasizing curvature or injecting confidence. The exhibit focuses on several areas of historical, cultural and social significance including "Glamour and Fetish," "Rising from the East," "Revival and Reinterpretation" and "Metamorphasis," among others. From Cinderella's glass slippers to thigh high fetish boots to shoes for bound feet, Killer Heels draws attention to the element of fantasy assumed by the wearer.
Charlotte Olympia Mae West, Pre-Fall 2013

Standout shoes defy traditional materials and incorporate fiberglass, wood, tile,and technology such as 3D printing/laser cutting, etc. I encourage viewers to look closely and move slowly in order to catch details in dim lighting and avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of shoe pairings.The exhibit is open Wednesday through Sunday from September 10th 2014 to February 15, 2014, with extended hours Thursday evening until 10PM. If you make the trip to Brooklyn, be sure to stop in the side galleries  and watch the short films. View visitor info on the Brooklyn Museum's site [here].

United Nude Lady Gaga shoe, 2012

Old and New!

High + Hard!

Sharp + Sky High!

Boots galore!

So many shoes!

Chanel Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2010

Prada Flame heels, front and center

Sculpturesque, but sturdy?

A new spin on "Shoe boxes"

French shoes 1690-1700

 (L) Winde Rienstra Bamboo Heels, 2012

Oh La La! Glitter and Glamour!

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