Client: Cosmopolitan Hotel Las Vegas, Daniel Fine Art
Location: Las Vegas, NV, United States
Completion date: 2012
Artwork budget: $300,000
Daniel Fine Art
Visitors to the Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas eagerly snap photos of themselves posing inside “Steam Pump” and “Fit to be Tied”, artist Roark Gourley’s iconic 7 feet hight, 3 feet wide, 7 foot deep heels. These stomping stiletto sculptures stamp the hotel with a signature style and unmistakeable social media moment. Inviting visitors to interact with the piece was important… That worked beyond belief… the shoes have their own web pages of visitor pics.
The idea was to create iconic art that would make the hotel unforgettable. I tuned into my lifelong series, “the essence of things”, which express ideas in larger than life iconic symbols of society, such as forks, hearts, shoes, and so on. The series not only makes the viewer see things from a child perspective, but serves as a statement as to how people identify themselves with things: what car you drive, what coffee you drink, what label you wear, etc. I found some crazy shoes in my wife closet, some that I had never seen her wear before, and I realized, like Cinderella, women have stories and fantasies in their minds about the shoes they wear. In the light of a shoe closet, the big shoe sculptures came to life.
As the video demonstrates, hundreds of concepts and drawings were sent for approval before the final versions now standing in the hotel. I worked with a local fabricator who specializes in working with artists on large scale sculptures. The process went from 3D renderings, to machine foam cut out, mold making, fiberglass construction, sanding, priming and then car-like painting, finish, and voila!
At first we thought maybe 3 to 4 people a day would maybe clime into the shoes... turned out to be 3 to 4 in 5 minutes. Sometimes there is a 15 waiting line to get your picture taken with the shoe. They started the "Instagram Moment".