Arts in Transit
Chesterfield Arts
St. Louis
Grand Center
U. City

Shoes of Shoes

Shoes of Shoes

Artist: Victoria Fuller, American, b. 1953
Title: Shoes of Shoes, 1999
Media: Cast aluminum
Dimensions: 8' h., 12' w., 5' d.
Owner: Leased from the artist by Brown Shoe Company

About the Work
Not just a giant shoe but a shoe of shoes, as the title implies. Hundreds upon hundreds of silvery high heel shoes placed every which way finally become sides, sole and heel of a gigantic shoe. At a distance it is large, imposing, dramatic and seemingly solid, but close up, it’s more a piece of three-dimensional pop-art lace. Light and air filter through and around the 2,000 shoes that make up Victoria Fuller’s Shoe of Shoes. The artist suggests that, the relationship of the parts to the whole echoes the way in which individual cells make up our bodies. Metaphorically speaking, the small shoes can be seen as the DNA of the larger one. The elegant high heel shoe with the pointy toe also serves as a cultural icon. Together these shoes suggest a feminine strength. Fuller comments that the subject of shoes as well as scale and size are a part of story and myth—from Jack in the Beanstalk to The Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe to Gulliver’s Travels. This piece was part of the 1999 Pier Walk exhibition in Chicago. It is fitting that it found a home in front of the Brown Shoe office building in a city that once was home to 150 shoe companies.

Everyday, common objects are used extensively in Fuller’s work. Sometimes the objects are cast in aluminum and become a construction unit as in Shoe of Shoes. However, Fuller frequently creates assemblages using the actual objects—softballs have become ripening fruit and cell phones symbols of “man’s desire.”

A 1980 graduate of Lorretto Heights College in Denver, Fuller received the Creative Fellowship Award from the Colorado Council on the Arts and Humanities. Since moving to Chicago and completing her MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago, she has received several awards and created numerous outdoor public art pieces.