Dimensions 20 x 27 x 25 cm
Material Shoes, horse hair
Jan Jansen original 1980s
Alet Pilon trained as a fashion designer but works as a visual artist. Fashion hardly ever enters her work now, but the human body is an important basis for her work. This has resulted in her sculp- tures often being seen as situated at the intersection of fine art and fashion. Alongside her life and work as an artist, Pilon has been Senior Lecturer
at the Minerva Fine Art Academy and at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
Her sculptures often evoke contradictory emotions. Some feature humanoid figures bound together and lacking features and limbs. Others depict forms wrapped in a blanket where only wings, antlers or hooves are visible. Her artwork handles power and impotence, truth and falsehood, fantasy and reality, real and unreal. This is expressed through her powerful fascination with death.
Pilon is a conceptual thinker who uses the human body as a vehicle to create a sculpture. In her work she adds animal matter to the human body, which she simultaneously loves and loathes. The combination of half-man and half-animal quickly becomes a mythical figure.
Another theme that fascinates Pilon, albeit a somewhat lighter  theme, is red pumps. Yes, red pumps – to her, shoes without any bells and whistles in the colour red represent ultimate femininity and are what brings one to the shoe
that has it all: in order for it to work well, shape, ratio and material have to be superbly balanced.
J-ANimal 1
Dimensions  18 x 90 x 15 cm
Material Shoes, horse hair
Jan Jansen original 1990s

‘In 1976, a friend of mine brought to my attention that De Bijenkorf in Arnhem sold Jan Jansen shoes. I had no problem with squeezing my feet into tiny sizes if that was what it took to wear real Jan Jansen shoes. To my surprise, Jan made shoes my size! It was a pair of rattan shoes. I was thrilled beyond belief and so proud to own these; I still have them 41 years later. The soles are dried out, they can't be worn any more. I have treated these shoes as a trophy, taken them out of the box only to show others one of my most prized possessions.
Out of frugal pride, I have never dared to wear them.’

J-ANimal 3
Dimensions 18 x 90 x 15 cm
Material Shoes, Horse hair
Jan Jansen original 1990s
For her second idea, Pilon wanted to ‘kill’ the shoes and then bring them back to life with her own hands. She came up with the idea of seeing Jansen's shoes completely flattened, after which she would use the flattened-out shoes to build a sculpture. Heavy-duty road construction rollers would do the trick, she figured. Unfortunately for her, Jansen's shoes were incapable of flattening – they are simply too well-made.
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