Printed in 1980, Diamond Dust Shoes (F. & S. II. 252) Deluxe Edition is a signed screen print by Andy Warhol made with diamond dust. The print depicts a row of pointed high heel shoes rendered in black and white against a dark backdrop. Unlike other prints in this series in which the shoes are depicted in colour, Warhol privileges black and white in this composition, an interesting decision as colour is so integral to fashion and consumer culture. The lack of colour focuses attention on the shape of the shoes, their texture and formation
Diamond Dust Shoes (F. & S. II. 252) Deluxe Edition is part of the Diamond Dust Shoes series. In this series, Warhol returns to an iconic symbol that has come to define his early career- the high heel shoe. Warhol started his artistic career as a freelance commercial illustrator in New York in the 1950s and became renowned for his commercial drawings of shoes published in well-known fashion magazines such as Glamour, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. These illustrations exemplified Warhol’s tremendous draughtsmanship and eye for colour composition. Warhol in fact returned to a number of subjects he has previously depicted, commencing theRetrospectives and Reversals series in 1979. In these re-examinations Warhol demonstrates his creative flare by updating the subject matter. Warhol transforms these images of shoes, giving them a distinctly 1980s feel.
The print was made using the Diamond Dust method, developed by Rupert Jasen Smith who Warhol admired greatly. Moving away from the blotted line technique that characterised many of his commercial illustrations and early prints, such as the Cats Named Sam series, here Warhol incorporates diamond dust powder into his screen printing process. The use of this material not only enriches the surface of the prints, but also brings with it connotations of glamour, excess and luxury, transforming the everyday commodity into a symbol of extravagance.