Helio de Sousa “Shoe Has Soul”
Banco do Brasil
July 24, 2013
Last night’s opening of Helio de Sousa’s “Shoe Has Soul” exhibition at Banco do Brasil on 42nd Street was attended by the elite of New York’s Brazilian community.
Helio de Sousa is a New York based artist originally from Brazil. Inspired by Andy Warhol’s iconic 1956 painting “Boot,” Helio got his flash of insight that shoes have soul and started painting them in 2008. Shoes express our identity and feelings when we wear them and absorb some of our life experience. “A shoe goes far beyond utility! It is an intense form of expression that can transform a person’s image and relay their characteristics. Shoes help to create the most varied of attitudes – funny, childish, exuberant, austere, sensual” says the artist. “As we all know, you don’t really know a person until you have walked in their shoes.”
“Helio de Sousa’s work exemplifies the tradition of high quality pop art,” Julian Von Heisermann (Salvador Dali’s agent, and Andy Warhol business associate).
Helio de Sousa paints by request. He has painted over 50 soles including famous and everyday people including Francisco Costa (the creative director of Calvin Klein), the family of former Brazilian president Tancredo Neves, celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich, members of the De Niro family, and Carmen Miranda on behalf of the Carmen Miranda Museum in Rio de Janeiro.
We asked Francisco Costa, the creative director of Calvin Klein, how he felt having one of his shoes painted by De Sousa. “It’s an honor really,” explained Costa. “Helio is a great artist and he has become a success so quickly.”
The artist has exhibited his “Shoe Has Soul” paintings in exhibitions at Barney’s New York, Ornare Miami, Consulate General of Brazil in New York and at the United Nations. In addition to the Banco do Brasil exhibition, Hélio de Sousa will have an exhibition at the Brazilian Academy of Art, Culture and History in São Paulo, Brazil in October 2013.
Helio de Sousa is the winner of the 2013 Brazilian International Press Award for Visual Arts.
“Conceptual and intuitive at the same time, Helio creates images of shoes that reflect the “soul” of their owners – like William Wegman paints dogs as the alter egos of their owners, or as Andy Warhol immortalized the “Rich and Famous” by the vibrant colors and, until today, the ultra-modernity of his portraits.”
Claudia Caliman, MoMA
The exhibition is on view until August 25, 2013. Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm Sat: 10am-5pm
For more information visit HelioDeSousa.com