Saturday, October 24, 2015

CRAFT AND FOLK ART MUSEUM LOS ANGELES: CHRIS FRANCIS SHOES

Street view of the Craft and Folk Art Museum

While in Los Angeles, a must stop for me was the Craft and Folk Art Museum.  Upon entry to the museum we were greeted by this:


Every once in a while an artist stops me in my tracks.  This was one of those times. Chris Francis, artist-shoemaker, had what seemed to be a whole shoe making studio set up in the entry. He was working on his creations and talking with those visiting the museum. There were vintage shoe lasts, hand tools and so many other objects to take in.  I'm sure this is some sort of organized chaos for him.  He looked right at home among his tools of the trade.

Shoe lasts hanging from the ceiling

Chris is self-taught.  His shoes are one-of-a-kind and he is a true believer in the individual maker.  All sorts of items are used to create his shoes and many are found objects.

A great display with rock and roll posters and play lists as a backdrop for the shoes and boots.

Close-up of one of the boots.  You know I'd love this one, metal is my thing when I work in abstract.  This has a Victorian meets punk-rock feel to me.

A little Mondrian.  Great colors and look at all the shapes involved.  This would be a mathematical nightmare for me.

Some gorgeous curves.

I missed his larger show as it closed before we traveled to L.A., but I am so glad I had the chance to see him in his element and view a display of his shoes (all of the shoes are functional).  He will be teaching a workshop at the Museum on Nov. 22 for those lucky enough to be in the area.  If his goal was to create interest in the hand-made, shoes as art and experimentation he gets an A+++.  He is pushing the boundaries with his art form and certainly inspired me to push my abstract work further in the future.

Search out artists who are moving forward with their work while creating art different from that normally seen and have a great day.

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