Printed in 1980, Diamond Dust Shoes (F. & S. II. 254) is a signed screen print by Andy Warhol in colours with diamond dust. The print depicts a haphazard arrangement of high heel shoes that appear to have been strewn carelessly on the floor. The shoes are rendered in bright and bold colours with pink, green, blue and fuchsia dominating the composition. The vibrant colours stand out against the dark backdrop and emphasise the endless variety that encapsulates consumer culture.
Diamond Dust Shoes (F. & S. II. 254) is part of the Diamond Dust Shoes series. This series, which came late in Warhol’s career as a Pop artist, marks a retrospective turn in which Warhol returned to familiar subject matter. Warhol worked as a freelance commercial illustrator in New York in the 1950s and he became renowned for his illustrations of shoes that featured in prominent fashion magazines such as Glamour, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Warhol returns to shoes, however updates them with a distinctly late 20th century style that resonates with the celebrity culture that fascinated Warhol.
Revisiting old subject matter such as the Campbell Soup Cans reflects Warhol’s creativity and versatile style. In Diamond Dust Shoes (F. & S. II. 254), Warhol transforms the familiar image of a high heel shoe by privileging the Diamond Dust method over the blotted line technique which came to characterise so many of his earlier prints. This method, developed by Rupert Jasen Smith involves incorporating diamond dust particles into the screen printing process, enriching the print’s surface and imbuing it with a sense of glamour and luxury.