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Top: High Heel Shoes #1 and #2 measure 32" × 31" × 14" and 32" × 28" × 13" respectively and are constructed in welded aluminium. Note the straps and stiletto heels. Above: Giant Blue Ant (31" × 24" × 28") and High Heel Shoe #3 (38" × 27" × 15") are constructed in steel, painted with glossy automotive acrylic enamels.

Feeling Footloose

Getting the smaller ones that you can wear: Firenze brand Zodiaco was one we came across with a high-heel sandal similar to Gray’s sculpture. Find out more about Italian manufacturers through the Associazione Nazionale Calzaturieri Italiani.
   Online, Shoes on the Net has featured Lucire’s logo for some years. This company had partnered with Oprah Winfrey a few years ago and can be found at
   Meanwhile, we enquired at Footloose, which is located at the Harbour City Centre, Lambton Quay, Wellington, New Zealand. Telephone 64 4 472-2618.
   Interestingly, web searches for high-heel stilettoes resulted in plenty of sites that sold them alongside lingerie and similar items. We did see a nice pair, the Veronica Heel (above left), at a site called Tease Him.


Lucire Living

He’s exhibited around California and his work has been seen in everything from Friends to music videos for Madonna and other top singers—Bruce Gray’s giant shoe sculptures are among the most delightful art items with typically cheeky southern Californian spunk

by Jack Yan



RUCE GRAY first caught our attention with his delightful giant shoe sculptures. Already shown on television shows (everything from Profiler, Seinfeld, Murder, She Wrote, Ally McBeal and Friends to lesser-regarded action series such as Dark Justice, VIP and Viper), music videos (for Madonna and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts), films (Rush Hour, Starship Troopers, The Sweetest Thing, Sleeping with the Enemy and the Bruce Willis flick Color of Night) and commercials (the trailer for Austin Powers, the Spy Who Shagged Me to more corporate fare for Chevrolet and Coca-Cola), Gray’s work has wowed many observers with his fascination for oversized objects. The University of Massachusetts-trained artist has also exhibited around southern California, where he now lives.
   While there are insects, Swiss cheese wedges and high-heel shoes that have received the Gray treatment, his motive isn’t taking tiny things, but rather, objects that have interesting shapes.
   ‘The high-heel shoe is perfect for this,’ the sculptor told Lucire, ‘because it is very curvy, sensual and sculptural in itself, especially the strappy sandal types.’
   There’s an additional angle: fetishes. ‘The giant shoe sculptures attract a lot of attention from both women and men, and seem to be a fetishistic item that people lust for. I have seen people practically salivate at the sight of my shoe sculptures,’ he said.
   Gray gets emails from around the world from women who collect shoes or miniature shoes, who are fascinated at how he has gone the other way with sizes. They stand over 30 inches in height, are made out of aluminium and sometimes painted with lipstick-red automotive enamel, the colour that he says elicits the strongest reactions.
   The items certainly are realistic. In researching this story, Lucire ventured to Footloose, the retail shoe store that won an award in Wellington, New Zealand for its customer service. Footloose’s Fleur Clark showed us $200-plus Via Mazzini shoes that closely resembled Gray’s bare-aluminium sculptures, but of course, they were not direct copies.
   Gray does not live by sculpture alone. He paints, designs and photographs as well, but given the cheekiness and delight his sculptures give to others, we hope that sculpting must be his first love. • Jack Yan

Jack Yan is founding publisher of Lucire.

Visit Sculpture by Bruce Gray


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