Veerle Swenters and Pierre Bogaerts
20 years ago we ended up in shoe business because of Veerle's father being a shoemaker in Antwerp. 2 years later we started the SONS project.
Collecting all the artists addresses was quite a challenge itself and then contacting them.
Writing over and over again, hours on the phone... it was a huge task. In no time we wrote over 1000 letters to the most famous artists: Arman, Baselitz, Fabre, Long, Panamarenko, Pistoletto, Richter, Wesselman etc...
Pretty soon we received positive reactions motivating us to continue this project. From the beginning many artists even transformed their shoes into an artwork.
Hence the title: "Shoes or no Shoes ?"
Are they real artworks or common shoes?
It's pleasant to ask this question to the visitors.
Many people like to ask us what our favourite object is and which artist we like the most. Actually we don't have a favourite because we consider the collection an entity and not individual contributions. That makes it hard to tell which object exactly is our number one.
Today Pierre and Veerle are still going on and they are even enriching the collection with authors (texts about shoes) and cartoonists (drawings).
Van Manen Bertien