Anonymous Fetish Artist

“In spite of everything, sometimes photographs are not enough. This unidentified obsessive image-maker needed to emphasize footwear. And to do that, he reached for drawing. In these remarkable images women’s shoes and boots are lovingly and closely rendered for study and enjoyment. Footwear is always the focus. Everything else is rather cursorily drawn. Figures and the mis en scène are essential for narrative content, but the hurry is always to get to the shoes. Even in the grisly “Death Hoop”, with all its violence and attendant collaged paraphernalia, all I can see is Roberta’s immaculate red shoes.”

Professor Colin Rhodes, author of Outsider Art: Spontaneous Alternatives, published by Thames & Hudson, 2000

“Wie Ein Mårchen” (Like A Fairytale) is a recent discovery of drawings by an unknown German artist with a fetishistic love of footwear and the eroticism that that evokes. The works reproduced below are from his scrapbooks – photo collages or pencil and crayon drawings, or a combination of both. Often the photographic source material for a drawing is included, so the viewer can see how it has been adapted to the artist’s personal taste. It’s unlikely that the artist ever thought anyone else would see these works – they are an intensely personal and individual. The attention to detail and craft is always in the rendering of shoes, fetishising them as bright, shiny and polished.

In tone, the drawings range from naïve and child-like, almost cute, recalling the heyday of Hollywood right through to the deeply sexual and dark and disturbing (sometimes this is hidden away on the backs of the pasted-in pages). For example, a burglar breaks in through a window as a shocked women sits up in bed. He recites to her;

The thief through the window rises at night
Enjoys the beautiful woman awakened in bed.
Gallantly the thief says to her quite cheerfully,
I just want to quietly take your shoes,
Nothing more!

A group of eight photo collages by the artist are to be included in a touring museum show in late 2019, entitled PHOTO/BRUT collection Bruno Decharme & compagnie

01 juillet – 22 septembre 2019
AFAM New York
3 juin – octobre 2020


Probable self-portrait, Anonymous Fetish Artist
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