Thursday, February 9, 2012

"The Shoe is My Canvas"

If I had the resources, I would buy every pair of shoes I have ever fallen in love with. Would I buy every pair I've ever seen? No, but very close. I have always believed there is something magnetic about shoes. Shoes come in a variety of colors and sizes to fit a variety of styles and occasions; they are pretty, charming, and practical. Choosing the perfect pair of shoes in the morning is essential to putting together the perfect outfit. Part of their beauty is their versatility and the fact that shoes can bring a great deal of personality to an outfit. Recently, a friend of mine sent me a link that displayed the work of a new footwear artist; and when I say artist, I mean that literally.

Kobi Levi, the designer of these very unique shoes, graduated from the jewelry and accessories design department of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design  in Jerusalem. He now specializes in footwear design and development. I can't think of a more literal and novel way (if you are brave enough to wear them) to bring your personality to your outfit. Do you enjoy roller coasters? Get a pair of the roller coaster shoes. Want to constantly be reminded of your favorite childhood memories?

I have always believed shoes are essentially a work of art, but Kobi takes it a little further than I would have ever imagined. He believes that "footwear should have its life with and without being on the feet, on the contrary to cloths that exist only when being worn." I suppose, in this way, Kobi adds to the versatility of shoes, giving them the ability to also become a conversation piece for your living room.

Kobi Levi aims to create sculptures that you can wear. Instead of drawing from the fads of the time, his inspiration comes from "outside of the shoe world." All of his designs are handmade. For the most part, people describe these "works of art" simply as humorous and a "unique view on footwear." I have to admit these shoes would not be among the many to be added to my collection if I had the resources. They are too much displayed personality for me. I, however, would happily accept them as a gift to put on display because I still think they are a piece of art. I don't think you would find many of them around.

For about five years now, Kobi has been working as a freelance designer. He is currently in collaboration with a few international companies to create his own women's line in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem.

On a side note, Kobi Levi is a fan of Madonna. After her Superbowl performance on Sunday, many people proclaimed Madonna as the Lady Gaga (who is also said to be a fan of some of Levi's work) of the 80's. I felt like I should put this in tribute to her.
New shoes Blond Ambition in 2011

To see more of his work and for more information:


  1. As a fervent shoe entusiast myself I was immediately drawn to these works of art. I have seen outlandish shoes before, from seven inch heels to gold fish bowls in the bottom of a shoe, but I have never before seen a shoe that was created to stand on its own. It seems that his artist uses a shoe as a medium, not as a way to create a method of transportation but as a unique display of his creativity. I have to wonder about the materials involved in his creations. Does he use plausible footwear materials, so that if desired they actually could be worn? Or are they created using aesthetically pleasing products merely as a pretty design? Many unique shoes are pleasing to the eye, but I have found, very uncomfortable to wear. I wonder if these shoes would be the same? Though I have found that the more expensive the shoe and the more expensive the materials, the more comfortable the shoes are .Perhaps these materials could serve the dual purpose of creating a one of a kind shoe as well as a wearable pair of shoes. I would like to look into this further and perhaps see a pair of these works of art in person.

  2. When I saw the first picture of this post, I did not even realize they were shoes. Quite honestly I thought they were those crazy chairs that defy gravity or something. I really like this post though because it encompasses, what I believe to be, an essential element of creativity. That is, the creator takes something ordinary and mundane and sees it in a way no one has seen it before. For an item such as shoes, quite a practical invention, to turn them into art that almost completely remove them from their natural element it truly creative to me. This is double sided creativity in a way. Not only does the designer have a completely unique way of designing shoes, but he finds inspiration in places completely out of the ordinary. Never have a looked at a slide and been like, "Wow, that looks like it could be a pair of shoes." Again, Kobi Levi sees ordinary items in a utterly different light. With hindsight biased, I can think of a number of things that could make cool shoes now, but to be the first to have that spark of inspiration is creativity at its finest.

  3. I am a total fan of fashion as artwork and these artistically designed shoes are no exception.I have seen an increase in low or minimally functioning couture on runways in several seasons of work by designers including Dior, Thakoon, and Alexander McQueen. I have always thought of fashion and clothes as much more than clothes to wear but as a way of self expression and making a statement to society and I think that extending this expression to creative art is very inspiring. A couple years ago I saw a similar exhibit at the Art Museum at U of I and it was really interesting to see the designs of something we wear on our feet everyday. In regards to our class definition of creativity I think these designs are definitely a novelty although only a specific audience would appreciate the innovation to something as simple and basic as a shoe.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.