Cardboard kicks

Nike Big Nike Retro - Seattle based artist Michael Leavitt has created a series of life-like cardboard cut-out sneakers based on some of the most iconic sports footwear in history. Remarkable attention to detail has been paid to each individual shoe and you would need to look closer to see that these aren't the real deal. Leavitt, who bills himself as 'an artist for-hire exhibiting pop art with soul worldwide', says, ''Everyday and urban objects are merely my palette for replicating modern landscapes of life, somewhere between a painterly impression and ironic conceptual art statement. I simply think of these as 'big kid toys', as if adults can still play make-believe too. Though each object is an original sculpture hand-made from scratch, each is somewhat functional and durable enough for even a bit of light 'play'. "Each shoe, and I only make one at a time (not a pair), takes at least a week or two. It's literally painstaking work. Some designs are obviously easier than others - slippers and sandals for example. Detailed designs with tons of knick-knacks andaccoutrements can take much more than two weeks to finish. Especially modern designs. It's an interesting fact of shoe design history that mimics society at large. Things were actually simpler back in the day. Everything's more complicated these days. "My inspiration to start the cardboard shoe project stems from a reflection on the heyday of 1980's New York City. I was doing a show on this theme at the time that I made my first shoe in 2006 - the Puma. I did the Air Jordan #1 next. And my interest in this time and place hasn't waned. 1984 was a fateful year. Wall Street was on fire. Capitalism in its prime. At the same time, graffiti, punk rock and the downtown scene flourished underground. Not only is the decade seminal to us Gen-Xers. A critical tipping point occurred. Pop culture matured and finally saturated the market. What everyone thought at the time was substance-less material fluff has turned out to be wealth of cultural - Vashon, Seattle - Wednesday 26th March 2014 (9 Pictures)


Nike Big Nike Retro 1

Nike Big Nike Retro
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#1

Fila Sandal 2

Fila Sandal
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#2

New Balance Retro 3

New Balance Retro
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#3

Nike Air Jordan 4 4

Nike Air Jordan 4
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#4

Crocs 5

Crocs
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#5

Seattle based artist Michael Leavitt has created a series of life-like cardboard cut-out sneakers based on some of the most iconic sports footwear in history. Remarkable attention to detail has been paid to each individual shoe and you would need to look closer to see that these aren't the real deal. Leavitt, who bills himself as 'an artist for-hire exhibiting pop art with soul worldwide', says, ''Everyday and urban objects are merely my palette for replicating modern landscapes of life, somewhere between a painterly impression and ironic conceptual art statement. I simply think of these as 'big kid toys', as if adults can still play make-believe too. Though each object is an original sculpture hand-made from scratch, each is somewhat functional and durable enough for even a bit of light 'play'. "Each shoe, and I only make one at a time (not a pair), takes at least a week or two. It's literally painstaking work. Some designs are obviously easier than others - slippers and sandals for example. Detailed designs with tons of knick-knacks andaccoutrements can take much more than two weeks to finish. Especially modern designs. It's an interesting fact of shoe design history that mimics society at large. Things were actually simpler back in the day. Everything's more complicated these days. "My inspiration to start the cardboard shoe project stems from a reflection on the heyday of 1980's New York City. I was doing a show on this theme at the time that I made my first shoe in 2006 - the Puma. I did the Air Jordan #1 next. And my interest in this time and place hasn't waned. 1984 was a fateful year. Wall Street was on fire. Capitalism in its prime. At the same time, graffiti, punk rock and the downtown scene flourished underground. Not only is the decade seminal to us Gen-Xers. A critical tipping point occurred. Pop culture matured and finally saturated the market. What everyone thought at the time was substance-less material fluff has turned out to be wealth of cultural

 6


Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#6

Cardboard 7

Cardboard
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#7

Vans Classic Slip-on 8

Vans Classic Slip-on
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#8

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Nike Air Jordan 3 9

Nike Air Jordan 3
Photo credit: Must Credit: Michael Leavitt/WENN


#9

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