Shoe of Shoes

Submitted by Victoria Fuller

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Client: Brown Shoe

Location: St. Louis, MO, United States

Completion date: 2000

Artwork budget: $90,000

Project Team

Artist

Victoria Fuller

Victoria Fuller Studio

Industry Resource

David Harris

David Harris Associates, Oversite Solutions LLC, and Global Device Management

Industry Resource

Bob Orsolini

Orsolini Welding

Overview

A giant ladies high heel shoe made out of over 2,000 cast aluminum shoes. The size is 10’H x 18’L x 6’W. Shoe of Shoes was originally made for a year long show, Pierwalk, at Navy Pier in Chicago, IL. Following that, Shoe of Shoes moved down to City Museum, in St, Louis, for the Really big Shoe Show, sponsored by Brown Shoe, and was purchased by Brown Shoe. It now sits in front of the headquarters of Brown Shoe, in St. Louis, MO.

Goals

Shoes are the building blocks of this large shoe sculpture, and metaphorically speaking, are like individual cells which makeup the body of the shoe, containing the DNA of the larger shoe. Like a mathematical fractal image, each small shoe is a miniature replica of the larger one. This collection of many shoes can also represent commercial mass production which our society is based on.
The high heel shoe as a cultural icon can represent femininity, and with the grouping of many shoes, collective feminine strength. It can also represent the pain women have had to endure from cultural constructs, such as wearing high heel shoes.
Human have created myths and fantasies about “little people” and “giants”. Shoe of Shoes reminds us of stories like “Gulliver’s Travels”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “The Old Lady who Lived in a Shoe.
By enlarging a common object and using multiples of mass production in a fantastic context, pop art predecessors such as Claes Oldenburg and Arman are recognized influences. The common object is elevated to a higher form, transforming the mundane into a surreal fantasy creation, thus challenging the viewer to contemplate other realms and meanings beyond the ordinary.

Process

A maquette was created using Barbie Doll shoes. An under-structure was design to support the shoes by David Harris, industrial designer, of David Harris Associates (now at Oversite Solutions, LLC, and Global Devise Management), who also created a CAD design of the structure. The aluminum understructure was created at Orsolini Welding, in Chicago, and 2000 aluminum high heal shoes were cast at Meskan Foundary, also in Chicago, IL. Fuller worked with Orsolini Welding, placing each shoe, tack welding them in place on the frame, and then solid welds were performed. The sculpture was transported via a crane and truck and bolted to a cement pad.