Artist's 3D-printed shoes tell tales of past girlfriends

Combine plastic, a Makerbot Replicator 2x, and lots of dating drama and you get Sebastian Errazuriz's unique "12 shoes for 12 lovers" project.

Sebastian Errazuriz

If you ever date artist Sebastian Errazuriz, be warned. He may turn you into a shoe one day.

Well, a shoe sculpture at least. In "12 shoes for 12 lovers," an exhibit now on display in Miami, Fla., Errazuriz reminisces about former lovers through 3D-printed high heels that convey a bit about each past inamorata. Apparently, there have been quite a few over the past 15 years, ranging from beloved girlfriends to one-night stands.

"Cry baby," a white platform shoe with what appear to be splashes of water along the top, tells of Alexandra, who couldn't stop crying about -- or texting -- her jerky ex-boyfriend during a night of passion with the New York-based Errazuriz.

"The Rock": Talk about a grounded shoe. Sebastian Errazuriz

The sleek red "Jetsetter" has a heel in the shape of a nose-down airplane for Jessica, who told Errazuriz that her dad owned a plane and the family had an empty house in Paris that could be his perfect art studio. "The more she tried to convince of the life we could have together, the less hot she became," the artist writes of that particular muse.

Some, like a shoe recalling a summer tryst, have light and airy designs. Then there's the big black blob of footwear titled "The Rock." It recalls Alice, who appears to have left Errazuriz with a heavy heart. "I loved her so much. Always will," writes the Chilean-born artist, who has exhibited internationally and in 2010 was named Chilean Designer of the Year.

The "12 shoes" project marks the first time Errazuriz has employed 3D printing in his designs. He created his shoes over the course of a year and printed them in PET plastic using a Makerbot Replicator 2x. We've seen wild-looking 3D-printed shoes before, but never any that explore sex, love, and well, sex as much as these.

On his Tumblr blog, Errazuriz released images of one design at a time, along with photos of the women (some real, some re-created) and a short, often explicit, story of the pair's relationship. Names of the women have been changed to protect their identities, but shoe names like "Heart breaker," "The Boss," "The Ghost," "Gi Jane," "Hot Bitch," and "Gold Digger" reveal that the 36-year-old artist may have -- how should we say it? -- a flair for the dramatic when it comes to his personal life.

"When I started this process I never imagined where it would end up, it's been infinitely more complex, revealing, and difficult than I thought," writes the artist, who says his work looks to both expose the contradictions and absurdities of everyday life and address deeply seated taboos.

"12 shoes for 12 lovers" will be on display at the Miami Beach pop-up shop of Brazilian shoe brand Melissa through January 6 as part of the annual Art Basel show in Miami.

Errazuriz really needs to date Lady Gaga next.

Sebastian Errazuriz

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.

 

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