Barbara Zucchi

This shoe sculpure is part of a series of 20 sculptures of shoes dedicated to the most relevant women in history, literature, cinema and comics. This project has been commissioned by Superstudio Milan and ANCI, and chosen as opening event for the MICAM 2006.

Guendoline (John Willie’s)
This sandal pays tribute to John Willie, a comics master, pioneer of the “bondage” way, whose work is the top and finest one could find in such field. His comic stripes were directly drawn on photo paper, collected by just a little group of estimators and mainly sold by mail. His stories were often unfinished. Occasionally happened that John Willie would refuse very remunerative works so that he wouldn’t have to come across censorship which might changed the nature of his stripes.
His character Guendoline has been a secret comic for years, but it has left very important traces in graphic’s evolution and styles one can find in the Seventies works of artists such as Allen Jones or in certain pictorial fantasies of Dino Buzzati.
Guendoline is victim of bad man’s persecution, she is a commonplace as de Sade’s Justine or the heroin in the “Histoire d’O”. Tied up, imprisoned, hang up, whipped: a character that belongs to fantasies of male domination. Guendoline is the object-woman tied up by laces and unreasonable corsets where the bad man, most of the time the artist himself playing the part of sir Dystic D’Arcy, will have the worst in every episode eventually. Her sandal is made of patent leather, a classic in sadomasochism, as her daddy wants to look her like. Or not?

Courtesy of Daniele Fontana at Whitenoisephotography 2007.

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