© Andy Warhol / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Andy Warhol: Shoes

In the mid-1950s, Andy Warhol worked as an illustrator for the popular shoe manufacturer I. Miller. For three years, Warhol drew shoes for advertisements, a cultural symbol that would fascinate him throughout his career. The stately high-heeled shoe, usually depicted in profile, was Warhol’s favorite, which he portrayed in a range of colors and materials. Early drawings of shoes often featured cheeky captions written by his mother, Julia Warhola, such as “Uncle Sam wants shoe” or “You can lead a shoe to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Later shoes appear stylized in Warhol’s signature silkscreen prints, some of which famously incorporate diamond dust for added sparkle. Intended to mimic advertisements, Warhol’s shoes are emblematic of his interests in commercialism and reproduction.

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