The series began unexpectedly when I decided to paint an old pair of my PF Flyers that were lying on my studio floor. I wore them nearly every day and their worn soles and weathered edges told a story of my life. I became intrigued with the concept of capturing the story and character of other artist who’s work I love.
I see these paintings as unconventional and non judgmental portraits.
Shoes speak volumes about who we are. After time they develop a character all their own.
This series is about paying homage to a variety of contemporary artists worldwide and being able to connect with them personally. Creating art is my greatest purpose, yet it can become isolating. This series gives me the opportunity to connect with other artists all over the world. To date I have painted over 100 shoe portraits of both world renowned and obscure artists, and the list keeps growing.
I personally contact artists and ask them to send the pair of shoes that best represents them. The number of positive responses that I’ve received so far pleasantly surprises me. Most of the artists have allowed me to keep their shoes. I now have a wire in my studio with over 50 pairs of shoes strung above my easel. The growing number of correspondence, ephemera and photos that I’ve collected has become an additional point of interest. Every day I look forward to going to the mailbox to see who has responded. I plan on developing this series the rest of my life."
- KJ Shows
Russ Pope’s art draws from the social and political environment surrounding him in his daily life. Pope’s inspirations have been skateboarding, music and the creative, interesting people he encounters daily. His bold strokes, finite doodles and striking paintings are characterized by faces, still lifes and humorous events. From the early days in Central California skateboarding, drawing and attending punk shows, to his current life in New England, Russ has processed life and his interactions with his world through the prism of a pen and a paintbrush.
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