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If the Shoe Fits, Sculpt It

Here’s an intriguing concept: shoe art. Not Vivienne Westwood platforms. Not Jimmy Choos. But Alive Shoes, vibrantly colored sneakers that are made into art installations, then disassembled and sold as shoes. This may take some explaining…

Art made from shoes. The concept doesn’t immediately fill you with wonder. So let me explain. First the shoes are handcrafted in Italy by master craftsmen, using sustainable ingredients (organic cotton, leather, cork and biodegradable polyurethane) and earth-friendly techniques. Sounds good so far.

Once they have the vibrantly-colored shoes in their hands, they tie them to trees, circle teepees with them, stuff them into giant test tubes, or squish them into cubes. After everyone has photographed the installation to their heart’s content, it is deconstructed, and each shoe is made available for sale. The base cost is 120-200 euros, but people are invited to bid as much as they think the individual shoes are worth.

If that whets your appetite, you can get involved by submitting your own sketch for a shoe installation. It’ll be posted on the site and if you get the most votes, you get to build a shoe sculpture.

Why? It’s art. Does it need any other reason? Apparently the artists are ‘challenging the material source and allowing it to evolve into a new expression’. The challenge? The artist has to create art using just one ingredient: shoes. The benefit? Art (and shoe) lovers can buy unique art at a relatively small price. As you wear the shoes, you connect with art and the artist, community and nature. It’s innovative, it’s creative, and it’s different.

And that may be reason enough. RM

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