Saturday, August 07, 2010

Art Afoot?

Today I'm going to blog about an artform that might seem a little out in left field to some of you ... but maybe not. If you're one of the 2.3 regular readers of this blog, you know that I'm a photographer and videographer, as well as maintaining a keen interest in new media (whatever that is. Or, are. Whatever.).

A few things you might not know about me is that I am a bonafide stamp nerd (own many many rubber stamps), that I make books that look like installations, and that I have a huge box of all different kinds of fabric that I have no idea what I will do with, as I have nothing even approaching the patience for (much less an interest in) quilting, sewing, or anything of that nature.

But this is all neither here nor there, except to prove the point that you might not know me artistically as well as you have been thinking, and to wit, today's topic.

Shoes.

Yes, I said shoes. As in, shoes one buys and wears on one's feet when passing through the out-of-doors or going to a club or traversing the mall. I love shoes. I have always loved shoes. My ex once said he'd never seen me walk through the San Francisco Nordstrom without buying a pair of shoes. When I lived in California, Designer Shoe Warehouse was across the bridge and required the committment of driving into the city and finding parking, which has derailed many a carefully-planned event, never mind something spontaneous. And shoes.com did not yet exist.

But alas. Here in the Triangle area, Designer Shoe Warehouse has the temerity to be next door to the PetSmart, where I buy kitty litter and cat food. Next door to it! And parking ... well, as always seems to be the case around here, parking is ample and easy to find.

I had slacked off shoe-buying in California. Didn't need fancy shoes to wear to work, never went out, didn't find myself attending any "special shoe-appropriate" events, just wore my sneakers to the office and my paddock boots to the barn, and that was pretty much it. Kind of in the same way I had slacked off photographing things. Just didn't see the point for a moment, I guess. But when I moved to North Carolina, my perspective seems to have gotten a big adjustment. I started photographing again almost nonstop, even without benefit of a theory-laden concept (which my 2.3 regular readers will know is my absolute favorite) or a carefully-defined artistic project (my other absolute favorite).

And even though I had no specially-defined place to wear them, I started buying shoes again.

Lots and lots of shoes.

I'm buying shoes with very high heels and platforms and many strappy straps in interesting patterns and colors. I think I equate these shoes with art. The ones I like best all have an interesting sculptural quality to them and tend to not look like everybody else's shoes, even though they're right there for sale to the general public. They also tend to look substantially less utilitarian than most shoes, although they all fit my feet well and I can walk in them easily (this I attribute to Pilates; my ankles used to be dreadfully weak and I would roll them on an almost weekly basis, a situation my trainer and I undertook to correct using the reformer ... hi Karinne!).

The other thing my shoes have in common with art is they are almost impossibly sexy and sensual. They nearly purr by themselves. My response to really amazing art is a visceral one and very sensual; that describes my response to these shoes as well.

So. Are Carlos Santana, Madden Girl, Rampage, Impo, Nine West and Alfani really the next great artists of our time? Or is all this an elaborate justification for a footwear fetish?

Oh please. Like it matters. Duh.

3 comments:

Coral Cadman said...

Cool blog-post! I love your writing! Shoes are amazing in general. I'm usually bare-footed or in flip-flops down here, but I pull out the sexy ones on those rare beach-town occasions where dancing
and having the "look" go together. Usually Monday nights at Don Pedros' when the Afro-Cuban band shreds us all with killer salsa by the ocean.
I could get a lust-have for a pair of those Santana designs. WAY over the top, while covering the bottom (so to speak!)

Ann Tracy said...

I'm a shoe whore too, except I can't wear those sexy heels anymore without throwing my back out.... so wear them for me Marie! Could this also be the topic of a contempo country song??

E. Marie said...

thanks so much, ladies. it's great to get a comment that isn't Chinese spam for a change!