On View: 300 Pairs of Red Shoes

NEW YORK—At hpgrp Gallery, the more the merrier holds true. “Views of Life,” the gallery’s current exhibit features eight Japanese artists whose works examine life in its many manifestations, from the macro to the micro. “Red Shoes” by Hiroko Nakao is the most compelling among the group. The installation is composed of 300 works on paper. The images are simple pencil drawings of the same pair of shoes depicted over and over again from slightly different vantage points and made red with watercolor. The series is delicately afixed to the wall in a precise grid with straight pins.

According to the gallery, “Long based in London and now back in Tokyo, Nakao explores ‘seduction, desire, and apparent beauty’ in exquisitely crafted objects which have a strong feminist overtone. The color red has recurred in her oeuvre, including Red Skin and Little Red Riding Hood. Unlike these previous works, which touch upon an uneasy feeling of adult womanhood, her drawing series ‘Red Shoes’ addresses a girl’s curiosity with and aspiration to mature femininity, which is represented by her feet stuck in an oversized pair of her mother’s cheap red high heels.”

“Views of Life” is on exhibit from July 19 to Aug. 30, 2012.

All photos © Arts Observer

“Red Shoe,” 2010 -12 (watercolor and pencil on paper).

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