Before Andy Warhol became a leading light in the pop art movement and synonymous with images of Marilyn Monroe recoloured in neon shades, he was a commercial illustrator for fashion magazines with a particular expertise drawing shoes.
In 1955, Warhol was made the only illustrator for the advertising campaigns of I.Miller, a New York shoe manufacturer favoured by actors and dancers. Each week Warhol had to create designs for advertisements in The New York Times and shoes became something of a signature piece.
On 22nd March a complete portfolio of Warhol’s shoe designs titled À la recherche du shoe perdu will be sold at Sotheby’s. A dream buy for fashionistas, it includes 18 unique prints.
Each print is hand-coloured, often by Warhol and his friends when they got together for ‘colouring parties’, and has a witty caption written by the American poet Ralph Pomeroy and inspired by references to pop culture. ‘Dial M for Shoe’ pays homage to Alfred Hitchcock while the title of the portfolio itself plays on Marcel Proust’s famous novel À la recherche du temps perdu.
At £100,000-£150,000, the estimate for the portfolio may be rather more than most budgets, but it’s worth a flick through the gallery above to see a surprising side of Andy Warhol’s work.
Any one for shoes?
You can lead a shoe to water but you can’t make it drink
Dial M for shoe
Beauty is shoe, shoe beauty…
Shoe fly Baby
To shoe or not to shoe
I dream of Jeannie with the light brown shoes
My shoe is your shoe
Shoe of the evening, beautiful shoe
When I’m calling shoe
Shoe bright, shoe light, first shoe I’ve seen tonight
The autobiography of Alice B. Shoe
Uncle Sam wants Shoe!
In her sweet little Alice blue shoes
See a shoe and pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck
Sunset and evening shoe
À la recherche du shoe perdu is lot 136 in Sotheby’s Prints and Multiples sale on 22nd March. To view the full catalogue, click here. 020 7293 5000; sothebys.com
To discover more about collecting vintage shoes, take a look at our collector’s guide.