The Art and Sole of a Sneakerhead
East and Hodges Galleries, June 21 - September 25, 2016
To the mainstream consumer, sneakers are designed to support or enhance an athlete’s performance, but their design also speaks to a niche audience of those who have begun collecting sneakers as a hobby. Form, function, and style are three key components to every successful sneaker. When put together well, they can transform mere footwear into works of art. In fact, buying and trading shoes have become big business with collectors. Born out of the hip hop culture, the people who collect, trade and admire sneakers are called “sneakerheads.”
For collectors like Marvin Laster, his “addiction” took root from his childhood, when he wasn’t always able to afford the latest Jordans he so admired. Over the years his appreciation grew and he started to amass a collection by chasing down the latest releases wherever he could find them. That chase has led him on a unique path, making his way into the skateboard world where the Nike SB line has released some of the most sought after sneakers in recent history. Each sneaker design is unique and has a story and personality of its own. The Albany Museum of Art is proud to present Marvin’s collection and explore the lifestyle and stories of sneaker culture.
Herm Tsoi makes up the other half of the collection being featured. Herm is a 40 year old sneakerhead who’s passion for sneakers has had a significant influence on him.
“I’ve been collecting shoes since 1994. So I would say it's been a huge part of my life. I love it so much I decided to open a shoe store,” said Tsoi.
Color, comfort and exclusivity are what influences Herm when selecting which pair is the one to seek out and purchase. Many times, one pair isn’t enough. Sneakerheads like Marvin and Herm often will pick up two pairs, one to collect and one to wear.
Passion takes on many different forms in different people. Sneakerheads have an appreciation for design, form, function and sole. They wear their passion on their feet instead of their sleeves and the industry has taken notice and grown to influence - as well as be influenced by - these collectors and their culture. Join us to experience sneakerhead culture from June through October as we present The Art and Sole of a Sneakerhead.