My husband always has a hard time finding shoes that would fit him perfectly so he has already had several pairs custom made for him by The Left Shoe Company. Being on their mailing list, he recently received an invitation to the opening of an art exhibition at their store in Helsinki. As soon as I heard there would be Vincent Bakkum’s paintings I convinced him we should attend.
The opening was yesterday afternoon and we couldn’t go after all. However, we were in downtown Helsinki a couple of hours earlier. While he was taking care of some urgent matters I rushed to the store. Of course, the paintings were there by then and I could have a look practically all by myself.
Vincent is a self-taught painter and illustrator, a Dutchman who has lived in Helsinki for years, I suppose a couple of decades at least. (I understood he has recently returned to Holland.) He used to work as a model and the idealised world of fashion can be seen in his paintings of beautiful young women reminding of fashion photography and art nouveau. He also enjoys painting (stuffed) birds and still lifes.
You can see more of Vincent’s works, represented by agents in Helsinki, Paris and Tokyo, and read about his sources of inspiration ‘beauty doomed to rot, colours bound to fade’ on his website here.
The Left Shoe Company manufacturing custom-made gentlemen’s shoes was established in 1998 and currently has stores, in addition to their home base Helsinki, in London, Copenhagen, Dubai, Naples, Grosswallstadt (Germany) and Kobe (Japan). A store will be opened this summer in West Hollywood, Los Angeles. You can read more about the company here.