Interdisciplinary artist ONA B. was born and bred in Austria. She specializes in various media forms such as painting, installation, land art, photography, film, sound art and conceptual art.
In 2009, ONA B. started developing shoe artworks with her first work titled SALZMANN's Secret. Soon afterwards, she finished Scandal in Paradise, which consisted of crutches, hooks and plaster. The essence of crutches is that they function as a walking aid: she feels this is the same for stiletto heels, which support but also carry sensuality. The crutch symbolizes ageing, the struggle with movement and vulnerability, while the heel symbolizes youthfulness but also limits movement through its height and design.
‘I love shoes – but I adore Jan Jansen – since I buy shoes myself’
A distinct attribute of her work is that the colour red is always present. She has focused on the colour since the death of her mother. To ONA B., it symbolizes positivity, confidence, energy and girl power. It fits this collaboration because red is one of Jansen's favourite colours and he often includes it in his work. It was therefore only natural to have the colour stand out once ONA B. got to work. She tends to favour the more extreme shoes that Jansen has made. She has been an avid wearer and lover of Jansen's shoes for many years. Her personal fascination with Jansen’s work has provided the basis for her project for ‘Jan Jansen Shoe Treasures’. It inspired her to capture his legacy in a monumental format. Her monument has become the wicked love child of a throne and a wheelchair, titled Jansen's Throne. To her, it symbolizes mobility.
ONA B.’s second contribution to this project is a bright, enormously large red dress that she's named Jansen Ornat. Its multi-layered design indicates that it conceals many secrets, according to ONA B. She has hidden Jansen's shoes somewhere in the labyrinth of fabric wishing to instil a sense of playful curiosity. The artwork initiates a relationship with the erotic charisma of petticoats and shoes.