'Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis'

Now on View - Dec. 8, 2019

'Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis'


SCAD FASH presents Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis, an exhibition of iconic footwear by the Los Angeles-based shoe designer. Francis blurs the line between art and fashion, implementing unconventional techniques and materials. Strong colors, bold shapes and sharp lines are all characteristic of his sculptural, even architectural, designs.

Francis became a notable figure in the street art community before gravitating to shoe design. Inspired by the teachings of the early 20th-century Bauhaus school of design, he manipulates a wide range of uncommon shoemaking materials such as glass, concrete, metal and plastic. Francis is a consummate craftsman, employing both modern and traditional techniques. He cites the rebellious, DIY spirit of the punk movement as a foundation for his independent design house, where he is committed to small-batch, in-house, handcrafted production. His bespoke shoes have been worn by rock legends like Mötley Crüe’s Mick Mars, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols and former Runaways guitarist Lita Ford.


Chris Francis, "Shoe Machine," painted leather, leather, wood and rubber, 2015

About the artist

A self-taught shoe designer, Francis is a former art student, graphic designer and carpenter, and has tailored those skills to the shoemaking discipline. Unable to secure an apprenticeship within the contemporary shoemaking community in Los Angeles, he sought out time-honored, immigrant artisans, acquiring their vintage machines and tools to learn the trade for himself. Francis’ work has been shown in a solo exhibition at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles, and in group exhibitions at the Palm Springs Art Museum and Richmond Art Center, California. His designs have been featured in Vogue, Metropolis magazine, and Ornament magazine, among others.

Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis is curated by Rafael Gomes, director of fashion exhibitions.

Admission to the exhibition is free for museum members and SCAD students, faculty and staff with a valid SCAD Card. Open to the public with the cost of museum admission.

'Form & Function: Shoe Art by Chris Francis' curriculum guide

Thought exercises in this curriculum guide encourage students to experiment with ideas and forms to express their experience. Approaching shoemaking with this freethinking spirit, Chris Francis implements unconventional techniques and materials, with strong colors, bold shapes, and sharp lines. Form & Function presents a selection of Francis’ iconic footwear that plays with the visual languages of Brutalism and the Constructivist, Bauhaus, and De Stijl schools of art with a subversive, punk rock attitude.

Download the curriculum guide