Recently, I posted about my new obsession: High Heeled Art. Intriguing as the art itself is, I was curious to how Mark Shwartz, the artist behind the images, decided to create these sensual and beautiful pictures. After chatting with him, I found out some fascinating details, from his start as an assistant shoe designer for Roger Vivier, to his friendship with Andy Warhol, to his opinion on the shoe designers of today.
My Plate, $295
Read on for the exclusive interview with Mark Shwartz.
Tell me a little about your background in art. How did you decide high heeled art was your passion?
Andy Warhol himself put the idea in my head to do the shoe paintings , he was a personal friend of Roger Vivier, I worked for Vivier as an assistant shoe designer for about 6 years back in the mid 1980’s. Andy pushed me to pursue what I do today.
Where did you grow up? Did that have an effect on your artistic designs?
I grew up in New York City. NYC had a definite effect on everything to do with my work; the culture, the people, the fashion. It’s an endless stream of constant ideas- just walk on almost any street and you can feel the vibe!
How did you start exhibiting your work?
I began showing my works at a few small galleries, and really, the internet has saved me or rather made me. My website attracts my clients and has made my work collectable through out the world.
Some of your influences include Andy Warhol and Roger Vivier. Do you have a strong personal connection to those artists?
Andy and Roger were my two biggest influences ever. They were both there for me at a very young age. I was around 23 when I met them. Andy would come to my office or apartment and we would draw shoes, hence, the shoe paintings were hatched. You know, Warhol had a thing for women’s shoes- he did a few paintings of them early on in his career. Roger hired me to be his assistant designer, and that is where I learned to design shoes! Two of the best mentors ever!
How has your expectations changed over the years?
Well, life changes, and things change, such as fashion, etc. My expectations over the years have changed slightly, but I still have the same goal of reaching as many people as I can with my work!
Have you ever thought of designing shoes?
Ah, I have designed shoes for many years! That is where I started with Vivier; the paintings came second!
More Gloss, $395
What’s your favorite type of high heel?
I love very simple high heels with a slight bend or curve to them!
You admire the shoe designers Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, and Walter Steiger. Are there any new designers you find interesting?
I really enjoy today’s designers as a whole, picking little parts of designs from them all. Some of the glamour is gone today because there are just too many designers out there and things have become a bit watered down; very similar.
If you haven’t yet checked out Mark’s High Heeled Art
, I’d definitely recommend it!