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The Rise of Sneaker Culture AGWA Photos Bohdan Warchomij May 13, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : Metaphor Online , trackback

adidas X artist Cey Adams image of Muhammad Ali Photo Bohdan Warchomij

After popular showings in Toronto, Brooklyn and Atlanta, the international exhibition The Rise of Sneaker Culture opened on Friday at AGWA for its only Australian presentation. On Saturday an open day saw throngs of people, amongst them collectors, aficionados and bemused children milling with Gallery Director Stefano Carboni and Curator Robert Cooke wearing happy smiles on the upper floor of the gallery.

Curator Robert Cook and AGWA director Stefano Carboni Photo Bohdan Warchomij

The Rise of Sneaker Culture is the first exhibition to explore the complex social history and cultural significance of the footwear now worn by billions of people throughout the world.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

photo Bohdan Warchomij

On display are shoes from the archives of Adidas, Converse, Nike and Puma, as well as private collectors such as legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC, sneaker guru Bobbito Garcia (Kool Bob Love) and Dee Wells of Obsessive Sneaker Disorder. Also featured are sneaker collaborations between celebrities, artists and high-end fashion houses, including Kanye West, Damien Hirst, Prada, and Lanvin. Artists working on designs were huge contributors to the rise  of sneaker culture and it was particular poignant to see the artist Mache’s customised artwork of Heath Ledger’s portrait as the Joker from the Batman Movie The Dark Knight in a week when the documentary film I AM HEATH LEDGER had its premiere at Perth’s Luna Cinema.

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Photo Bohdan Warchomij


Among the shoes on display are an 1860s spiked running shoe, an original 1923 Converse All Star/Non Skid, a pair of 1936 track shoes, the original Air Force 1, and early Adidas Superstars. Also featured is a complete presentation of Air Jordans I–XX3 on loan from the Kosow Sneaker Museum.

President Barack Obama on the sole of a sneaker with the slogan A BLACK MAN RUNS AND A NATION IS BEHIND HIM Photo Bohdan Warchomij

Film footage, interactive media, photographic images, and design drawings contextualise the sneakers and explore the social history, technical innovations, fashion trends, and marketing campaigns that have shaped sneaker culture over the past two centuries.

Artist Tom Sachs work on the prototype of a moon boot Photo Bohdan Warchomij


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