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The Converse Blank Canvas Project and Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker.

A new exhibition from Brisbane’s Artisan features an online auction of 20 pairs of Converse sneakers customised by some of Australia’s most renowned art and design talents as part of The Converse Blank Canvas Project, an adjunct exhibition to the gallery’s Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker. By Stephanie Madison.

The Converse Blank Canvas Project and Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker.


July 10th, 2012

Curator Kirsten Fitzpatrick says the “sports show”, designed to coincide with the Olympics, is also about exploring the sneaker as a platform for creativity. The latter of which led Artisan to invite various Australian artists and designers including Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Jason Bird, Sebastian Di Mauro, Alexander Lotersztain, Charles Robb and Gail Sorronda, amongst others, to “unleash their creativity on a sports shoe” – 20 pairs of Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers donated by Converse – with all proceeds going to the Cathy Freeman Foundation.

“…We were expecting people to draw and paint on them. Instead, we had shoes arriving buried in concrete, covered in fur and mounted as trophies, dissected, adorned with fish or snake scales and even converted into rather provocative underwear,” Fitzpatrick says.

Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker features an extraordinary collection of rare, limited edition and “over-the-top” sneakers.

“The focus of the exhibition is collaborations between the big brands and luminary designers of the calibre of Yohji Yamamoto, Marc Newson or Stella McCartney,” Fitzpatrick says.

“The shoes in Reboot have come from the collections of Adidas, Nike, Puma, Converse and Reebok and a special selection from the legendary Australian sneaker guru ‘Woody’ of Sneaker Freaker (magazine) fame.

“These shoes are not ever available for public viewing as most sell-out before they even hit the stores, such as the Kanye West Yeezy II, which we have in the show. So Reboot offers a rare opportunity to see some of the shoes in the flesh.”

Other shoes on display include cult favourites the Nike Mags of Back to the Future and those adorned with imagery by Basquiat, Warhol, Lichtenstein and contemporary artists such as Dave White; not to mention cult shoe store, brand-to-brand and music collaborations plus homages to Japanese “monster movies”.

All shoes from The Converse Blank Canvas Project and Reboot: Function, Fashion and the Sneaker are on display at Artisan gallery, Fortitude Valley until August 16. The online auction will end on July 26.




*The customised sneakers are for sale now by online auction, visit www.32auctions.com/BlankCanvas to place a bid.

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