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Why the Colorful Shoes? | Johnny Tang Photo

Why the Colorful Shoes?

Invictus Excerpt showing colorful shoes

Excerpt from Invictus

What’s with the colorful shoes?

This is a question I get a lot when it comes to my self-portrait work. The short and simple answer, is that it’s an allusion to my youthful days as a competitive BBoy (break dancer). The long and complicated answer however, is that they’re there to represent the mysteries of life we have yet to solve.

Sounds like art school bullshit, I know. But bare with me a little.

The World of One is centered around the themes of dichotomy and paradox. I use the black and white suits as a metaphor for exploring the contradicting sides of our humanity. For example the white side might represent happiness, and the black side sadness etc. But they all come from the same source, the same person.

With the different colored shoes, I’m saying that while I’m splitting these actions/emotions into a binary relationship, life is never so black and white. Instead it’s often filled with shades of grey and broad strokes of color. Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with something (like with beer/butter). Then sometimes we discover things that smash our previous assumptions, revealing how we’ve upheld false beliefs our entire lives (Pluto is still a planet goddammit!!!).

That is the real reason the colorful shoes are in there, to represent the times in our lives that are too messy to be be expressed in shades of black and white.

They’re also just great for composition.

How about you? Do you like the shoes? Hate them (like my girlfriend)? Find them distracting?

Let me know in the comments below!

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