I’m constantly intrigued by new, avant garde artist’s materials relating to sculpture and thus, I am constantly on the lookout for such artistic oddities. I count American artist and designer Gwen Murphy on my top ten list this year and wonder if you agree. Gwen, a Boston University Graduate of Fine Arts, creates intriguing faces from discarded shoes and boots. She calls herself the foot fetish artist and I suppose one couldn’t argue that title with her after viewing here work
Since 2005, she has created fascinating sculptures from found shoes, giving each pair a personality inspired by the show style. Her shoe sculptures sell in excess of $1,000. Gwen, who is based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, reveals that ever since she was a little girl, Gwen liked to look at shoes and found that they were staring back at her, each pair with its own character and personality. Depending on model and how worn out they were, some shoes sometimes looked sleepy, other times grouchy or fierce, some even looked like they were singing. Young Gwen perceived them as a species of beings made entirely from pairs of identical twins, and the fascination with shoes stayed with her all the way through adulthood.
Her technique makes use of ash clay and acrylic paint to create bugged-out eyes, long faces and pouting lips, and gives each pair a unique face that expresses its unique character. Her first works were made out of old shoes. Now, most of the shoe faces are made by Gwen Murphy entirely out of wood. Of course, they cannot be worn Each pair of shoes has not only its own unique style and flavor, but also a specific name.