Teetering at ever-higher heights and in endlessly inventive styles, shapes and materials, high heels are the most desired fashion objects in the world. Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is a major exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum that explores the cultural history of the high heel and its associations with power, sex and fantasy. Pentagram has created a catalogue for the exhibition that showcases the shoes as extraordinary works of art and design.
Killer Heels collects more than 160 contemporary and historical shoe designs, from 16th-century Venetian platforms to 21st-century Christian Louboutins and Manolo Blahniks. Organized by Lisa Hall, Curator of Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the exhibition is divided into six thematic sections (such as “Metamorphosis,” “Architecture”) and is accompanied by six original short films by artists including Marilyn Minter, Nick Knight and Steven Klein, among others. Long a symbol of status and exclusivity and an outlet for creative expression, high heels have become even more rarified in recent years, and Killer Heels shows shoe design’s step toward avant-garde art and architecture, including heels by Zaha Hadid X United Nude and Rem D. Koolhaas.
The designer's clean, minimal book design puts the shoes front and center in striking, high-resolution images by the photographer Jay Zukerkorn. Many of the heels are reproduced at a scale that is larger than life size, offering an unusual, hyper-detailed view of the shoes' intricate engineering and design and exquisite use of materials. Set off by stark white or black backgrounds, the monumental scale also brings out the sculptural quality of the shoes.