Andy Warhol – Shoes (II.255), 1980 Screenprint with diamond dust on Arches Aquarelle paper, 40 1/4″ x 59 1/2″

In the Diamond Dust Shoes series Warhol came full circle from his early roots to his “glitzy” position as a pop art icon. When Warhol first came to New York, he started out as a commercial illustrator for magazines such as Glamour, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and the New Yorker. Sketching jewelry, handbags, clothing and gloves for such publications was his bread and butter. Since he got paid by the shoe, Warhol said that he always knew how much money he had by the amount of shoes he illustrated. One of Warhol’s first exhibitions was his Golden Slipper series, in 1956. It featured gold-leaf collages of shoes. These intricate pieces were dedicated to some of Warhol’s idols such as Mae West and Julie Andrews. It was a glimpse into the celebrity that Warhol himself would later achieve. By 1980, Warhol had achieved the fame that he had been so obsessed with. He celebrated with a Retrospective and Reversal series, which also included the Diamond Dust Shoes series. In this series, Warhol paid homage to his roots, but this time in style, using a new technique of crushed glass called diamond dust. The fanciful, colorful shoes were an exciting tribute to Warhol’s humble beginning and ascention to stardom.

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