Red Shoe – 1996

Red Shoe

Red Shoe, by Elizabeth Murray, is situated near La Jolla Vista View in the far South corner of campus. This is probably the least-visited of all the Stuart Collection items. Not only is this item blocked by two large parking lots from the active part of campus, it is buried in a grove of Eucalyptus trees. It is one of my last Stuart Collection items for this reason.

It is made up of cedar and paint using a technique similar to boats. It is open so one can look inside and see its simple construction. The heel is high in the air indicating that the person wearing this shoe would be taking very long steps, and this would be the trailing foot. There is a yellow shoelace tangled on the side, but there is only one eyelet. There are odd, angular rocks littered near the shoe which, frankly, I don't understand.

I have strong feelings about this piece. I don't like the randomness of it (rocks?) because it's half-hearted. If you're going to be random, you should go all the way. Here, Murray has mixed children's fables with Dahli-like solid object manipulation. It's just not well done in my opinion.