ShoeStories™ by Claudia Lynch
Claudia Lynch has enjoyed a multifaceted career as theatrical costume designer, tutu maker, milliner, author, publisher, artist and illustrator. She relishes the variety of the artist's day, completing projects as varied as corporate brochures, fashion illustrations for a sewing magazine, faux Andy Warhol prints for a film, and ShoeStories™. ShoeStories™ have been featured in a number of locally shot films, HBO’s Treme, and the CW’s series The Carrie Diaries. Claudia’s husband, Jim Gelarden, is a Production Designer for films and television. They make their home in New Orleans.
Why a shoe? The graphic shape of a shoe, particularly without the constraint of functionality, lends itself perfectly to unusual architecture and applied embellishment — whatever is necessary to express a character, a situation, or an entire story. Proportions are exaggerated, heightening the sexual connotation that has historically surrounded women’s shoes.
Why a typewriter? In traditional illustration, a picture illuminates, explains or expands on the text. Here, the situation is reversed: the text illustrates the pictures, so it had to be an integral part of the work. The vintage pulp fiction that inspired ShoeStories™ featured quick, witty repartee with lots of “You-get-it-you-get-it-You-don’t-you-don’t” innuendo, and would have been written on a beat-up old typewriter. As luck would have it, I happened to have one of those in my basement.
What's a gicleé print? Printed with care on archival paper with archival inks, these fine quality prints are very faithful to the originals.
How are the originals made? ShoeStories™ are painted with gouache (an opaque watercolor paint) on watercolor paper.
The stories are typed directly onto the paintings with an old typewriter.
Galleries + Shops
535 Julia St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
925 Camp St.
New Orleans, LA 70130
835 Royal St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
1305 Decatur St.
New Orleans, LA 70116
3815 Veterans Blvd.
Metairie, LA 70002
3933 Magazine St.
New Orleans, LA 70115
2638 Village Square Plaza,
Hillsdale, NY 12529
8877 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85253
To purchase originals or place a wholesale order, please CONTACT ME for info.
Reviews + Recognition
"While the illustrations are clever, it's the witty narratives, filled with puns, just under-the-covers innuendo and intentional typos, that bring the shoes to life...Tapping into that visceral appeal, Lynch's humorous interpretations are clever, playing with the cultural iconography of shoes as metaphor for feminine constraints, but also female power: Stilettos may be terribly hard to walk in, but they certainly command attention."
Susan Langenhennig, New Orleans Times-Picayune
"My Frequent Companion, who understands the profound and enduring importance of shoes, will adore this book."
Lawrence Block, author of A Walk among the Tombstones
"The story of Little Red Riding Hood gets a double treatment in this show. In her three "shoe" pieces, Claudia Lynch depicts highly fetishized shoes whose details are telling. Merging the fairy tale with classic detective noir text, Lynch illustrates a stylized stiletto pump titled Hello, Red. Nice Outfit. Look closely to see that the body of the shoe is depicted as a basket, the red bows at the heel for Little Red Riding Hood's little red hood. Lynch's shoe illustrations are clever; playing with a highly charged piece of adornment, fetishized in different ways by both men and women."
Amy Bracken Sparks, Angle Magazine
"In fact, funny images and clever wordplay...steal the show. Claudia Lynch, Phyllis Kohring Fannin and Kristen Cliffel use images and text to humorously confront decades-old stereotypes. While the observations are old news, the spins are clever. Each creates an artsy cartoon that's laugh-out-loud funny. Lynch, an illustrator, prospects the dames of the 1940's. She paints detailed watercolors of stilettos fashioned out of uber-feminine objects like candy boxes, then pairs them with short narratives typed on an old portable. Her text reads like an excerpt from pulp fiction or Casablanca dialogue."
Eleanor LeBeau, Scene Magazine
"It's Mickey Spillane in drag!" Jimmy Fahrenholtz
"I'm proud to be represented in more downstairs powder rooms than any other living artist!" — Claudia Lynch
All ShoeStories™ images and text © Claudia Lynch 2015.