The focal point of the exhibition is a pair of shoes commissioned by viral marketing firm TBWA\Chiat\Day NY and handcrafted by Dominic Ciambrone, known as the Shoe Surgeon, who creates high-end custom shoes. Set to be auctioned online, the shoes are part of a larger anti-slavery campaign from the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Included in the design are powerful facts about modern slavery, like that there are more slaves today than in all of recorded human history combined. As part of their Unboxing the Truth campaign, YouTube star Jacques Slade revealed and examined the sneakers, spreading the anti-slavery message to his massive audience of selective consumers.
Phillips Auction House has a new exhibition this summer that brings together fashion, art, culture, and charity. Curated by Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Tongue + Chic features shoes designed by some of today’s most important artists, including KAWS, Kehinde Wiley, Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami. Borrowed from private collections and museums, the objects on display show that shoes are a blank canvas with unlimited potential for expression. From intricate embroidery to carved rubber soles, artists in the exhibition have used a range of media to convey diverse messages.
Through their New York exhibition, Phillips and the Thomson Reuters Foundation hope to continue to spread this important message.
Tongue + Chic runs through August 31 at Phillip's 450 Park Avenue, New York location.