High Heels, by veteran NYC photographer, Frank Rispoli, focuses exclusively on legs and heels.
I met Frank at my recent exhibit, It’s Not My Fault at Catskill Art Society in upstate New York. We struck up a conversation and I think I might have mentioned my own book, Trey Speegle; 80s Polaroids, chronicling the upper half of some famous faces. He was nice enough to sent me a hard copy of the book, which was smart because of its presence I didn’t forget to do this post.
The premise is simple, legs and heels on the street and in night clubs, but we get to time travel back to 80s NYC.
Rispoli recalls the club where Madonna made her debut,
The epicentre of everything was Danceteria…
The way Danceteria was set up, there were all these vignettes — living rooms everywhere with televisions stacked in one corner. We’re talking early 80s so it had all this trashy furniture. The whole idea was the contrast of the trashiness of the environment with the start of new wave fashion, which was just exploding.”
This was an S&M club that was located in the basement, of course, down in the Meat Market around 14th Street. There was some kind of vending machine that they had painted in black and white bands. A woman happened to have on these Wizard of Oz black-and-white hose and black heels with this little detail caressing the ankle and it worked perfectly.”
In the introduction, Erick Bradshaw Hughes says
Rispoli’s images reverberate with decadence.
Peering through the cracked surfaces of the battered cityscape, he harnesses the inherent power of women’s fashion and its effect on the world around it.”
Hannah Ongley said in i-D magazine,
Rispoli’s photos are intoxicating Kodachrome timestamps that capture the frenetic zeitgeist of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, leaving the identity of the women up for interpretation.”