The exhibition “Antoni Socías: Between Art and Industry” is a critical review of the artist’s work based on a combination of different shoe designs and the works of art directly related thereto, and vice versa. The exhibition can be visited throughout the summer of 2019 at the Museum of footwear and industry (Inca, Mallorca)
In a way, Antoni Socías (Inca, Majorca, 1955) reveals his family origins and his close links to the footwear industry in Inca. He puts genealogies of ideas together to show different works of art that inspired one of the most disturbing collections of the mythical Make Up shoe brand (established in 1988 by Guillem Ferrer and part of Camper since 1991).
The artist’s work is a harmonious combination of art and footwear industry. In fact, his work escapes deliberately from the idea of uniqueness, centrality, the advantages of captive styles… The poetics of splitting realities is actually essential to understand the exhibit, the expressive effectiveness of which depends largely on the relationship between the different pieces, which have been created at different times but are entirely subordinated and interdependent with one another.
Antoni Socías is known for his ability to travel through his own creations, as if he was behind the wheel of a time machine that breaks down the barriers of evidence. The artist modifies, rearranges, reconsiders and recycles ideas, partial or full former works of art that become part of the present and also the seed of new creations with an unknown future. Running away from the conventional notion of style evolution is crucial to understand the artist’s work, how he works and how he constantly reflects on his own creations, a true artistic purpose after all.
Antoni Socías has been combining his artistic career with communication and/or design activities for brands such as Yanko and Camper for many years now, and occasionally for Carmina Shoemaker. His works have been exhibited in many countries and are displayed in important collections, including Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Museo Artium Vitoria, Es Baluard, Fundació La Caixa, Fundación Sunyol and Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, amongst others.
Exhibition of kitsch shoes in Inca (Mallorca) until July 2018.
Museu del Calçat, Inca (Inca Footwear Museum): Avinguda del General Luque, 223, 07300 Inca, Illes Balears
“It would be 1975 when, strolling through Barcelona, I went into a”( pound shop (Brit) ⧫ ≈ dollar store (US))” of curiosities and saw a shelf full of miniature shoes. I bought them all, for 100 pesetas each, and I used them to decorate the office that I had as a shoe representative. After this, I had and idea Why should I stop?.” Thus, Toni Pons, together with his wife Inés Català, started a profuse collection of unique shoes of all measures, colors, shapes, prices and origins.
Footwear is the undisputed protagonist of a collection that is displayed in all imaginable forms. Some of the exhibits have no other purpose than to be contemplated. Others, however, are objects designed to be used on a daily basis. You just have to do a little to realize that these seemingly useless objects are actually pots for plants, key rings, lighters, ashtrays, hair pins, money boxes, jewelers, bottles and wine racks, alarm clocks, watches, cups, teapots, jars, pen holders, tweezers, cases, wallets, etc. It is curious to note how formally many of these objects repeat motifs with dogs, cats, mice, flowers, soccer balls, etc. There are also princess shoes from the story of Cinderella, shoes with religious images, extravagant miniature heels, espadrilles, boots, fantastic reproductions of shoes from all over the world and souvenirs from Lluc, Galicia, Madrid, Portugal or Holland that indifferently take clogs form as if they were characteristic of each of these places. Within the collection we can also see a singular obsession with holed shoes and of course, a legion of mini-shoemakers willing to fix them.
An important part of this peculiar collection is linked to the aesthetic Kitsch in terms of extravagance, eclecticism, the predominance of color, striking elements and the accumulation of formally different objects. Within the field of theory, Kitsch has already been studied by such important authors of the 30s as Broch, Benjamin, Adorno or Greenberg, who used the term to oppose it to Avant-Garde.
Kitsch has dominated an essential part of the popular aesthetics of the 20th century. And surely, everyone, deep down, we also have some Kitsch; It can be some corner of our house full of porcelain figurines, a Chinese fortune cat, or a showcase with accumulated souvenirs. However, the wonderful thing about the Pons-Català collection is that it is the result of more than 40 years of dedication of this couple from Lloseta, who has been able to combine his passion for collecting with his great love for footwear.
Regidor: Antonia M. Sabater. Director and curator: Aina Ferrero-Horrach. Museum design: Bernat Mateu, Cristina Sancho, Carlos Pozas, Carolina Crespo. Linguistic correctors: Jaume Tortella (Catalan) and Juan José Segura-Sampedro (English).