On your toes

Christian Loubouton fetish shoes, photographed by David Lynch
Christian Louboutin fetish shoes, photographed by David Lynch, 2007

The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York recently opened a shoe exhibition (if you’re into that sort of thing) to coincide with New York Fashion Week.  Included in the show are a pair of Christian Louboutin’s remarkable fetish shoes.  When Louboutin debuted the range in 2007 he collaborated with none other than David Lynch, who created five limited edition photographs featuring the footwear (see top and below)  and exhibited them at the Galerie du Passage in Paris.

More Lynch-photographed Louboutins
More Lynch-photographed Louboutins

Including ‘siamese shoes’ bound together by a single heel and 26 cm heels with a spike on the inside, the high fetish collection was complemented by Lynch’s moody, cinematic images and ambiguous, noir-ish content featuring dancers from the Crazy Horse in Paris.  And if these numbers are a little too extreme for your taste, there’s now the foot friendly Lady Lynch Louboutin,  inspired by the director and yours for US$625.

On your toes

Brilliant cultural initiative unfolds in Brazil

Exterior of the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, Brazil (designed by Oscar)
Exterior of the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (designed by Oscar Niemeyer)

The Brazilian government is implementing an impressive new policy to promote widespread access to the arts.  Workers across the country will be provided with a monthly $25 stipend to spend exclusively on cultural pursuits and products – covering everything from exhibition entry to movie tickets.

90% of the stipend will be provided by employers, who can deduct the amount from their income tax.  The remaining 10% will be covered by the workers themselves, who can opt out of the scheme if they wish.  While the stipend is predominantly for those on minimum wage, employers can choose to extend payments to staff who earn up to five times that amount. Payment is made via an electronic card, thus restricting spending to arts related goods.

As well as stimulating economic growth in Brazil’s cultural industries, the move is also emblematic of the government’s prioritisation of the arts.  Sure $25 isn’t a whole bunch of money in this part of the world (a single ticket to the NGV’s current Neo-Impressionist show will set you back $20), but this is an exciting, empowering and generous way to build more diverse audiences and an appetite for art.

Brilliant cultural initiative unfolds in Brazil

Summer Reading

Garage #4 - the vanity issue
Garage #4 – the vanity issue

Russian mega collector Dasha Zhukova is about to launch the fourth issue of her art/fashion publication, Garage Magazine.  For the forthcoming ‘vanity’ issue, Zhukova commissioned cover art by fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier, who riffed on the work of Cindy Sherman.  Sherman herself approved of the shoot, saying: “I like how creepy the photos turned out, even though they don’t really look like the characters in my photos. But that’s better, I suppose.”

Issue 4 also features Juergen Teller talking to Boris Mikhailov and Lena Dunham talking to Tavi Gevinson.  Talk about power pairings!  Copies available from February 9th.

Summer Reading

Haunch of Venison set to close

Haunch of Venison's New York space
Haunch of Venison’s New York space

Haunch of Venison, the commercial gallery established by Harry Blain and Graham Southern in 2002 and controversially acquired by Christies in 2007 is shutting its doors.  The New York space will close at the end of its current exhibition ‘How to Tell the Future from the Past’ and the London branch will be converted into a Christies sales and exhibition space.  The auction house is streamlining the business to focus on secondary sales exclusively, meaning that they’ll also no longer be working with the 40 artists in the Haunch of Venison stable.  Ouch.

Haunch of Venison set to close