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Each Shoe Story is a unique sculpture, united with an exclusive narrative that fractures our understanding of characters and tales we think we know. Real footwear form the base of the sculptures. Scroll down, look at the shoes, and read the stories about the characters who wore the shoes. 

Zelda Fitzgerald's Shoe

Zelda Fitzgerald
Photo - Michael Pliskin
Zelda Fitzgerald's Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin
Zelda grabbed the bottle of bourbon that Scott had ordered, raised it to her mouth, and quaffed half the contents. Then she dashed out of the speakeasy and ran across the street toward the fountain at Manhattan's Union Square. Scott bagged the bottle and trailed her. She turned around. Assured that all eyes were watching her, she took off one of her shoes, tossed it to Scott, jumped into the fountain, and proceeded to dance. Spectators gathered around, astounded to see the young pretty woman prancing in the water. Zelda's eyes sparkled with mischief. Scott stood nearby, laughing. She threw him her one waterlogged shoe. The crowd stared at her. Oh, how she loved the attention of strangers!                                  (based on reports about the Fitzgeralds)

Daisy Buchanan's Shoe

Daisy Buchanan
Photo - Michael Pliskin
Daisy Buchanan's Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin
It rained this afternoon when I went to dear Nick's house for tea. I got out of the car and stepped into a puddle, dampening my right shoe. But that's the least of it. As soon as I entered Nick's living-room, Jay Gatsby walked in. I pretended that this man who had abandoned me years ago, this man whom I pined for on my wedding day to Tom, was a casual acquaintance, and that it was just a coincidence for us to meet at Nick's.
     The reality is that today my unremarkable life has become terribly complicated.
Cinderella's Shoe
Photo - Michael Pliskin
Cinderella's Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin
Cinderella twisted her ankle at midnight when she bolted down the ballroom staircase. Now she limped into the salon. On the divan in front of her sat the handsome man she had danced with last night. Why was he here? Oh - he was holding the splendid shoe that had slipped off her foot. Her heart thumped. What did he say his name was? Prince?
     She watched as one stepsister, then the other, shoved, bored, and rammed her right foot into the shoe. At last, the shoe shattered. The sisters giggled. The young man moaned.
     "Bitches," Cinderella muttered. "Never mind," she said aloud. "I've got the other shoe."
Tamar's Shoe
Photo - Karen Lee Pliskin
Tamar's Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin
The fathers made me marry Er, who soon died. Then I had to marry his brother, Onan, who was in love with Timna. He and I detested the custom of the fathers, that I had to marry my dead husband’s brother and he, Onan, had to marry me, his brother’s widow. We had no choice. Onan, longing to wed Timna, died of heartbreak.  
     Now I, Tamar, twice a childless widow and humiliated, had to return to my father's town and wait for the last brother, Shelah, to mature for marriage. But my father-in-law, Judah, refused to give me Shelah.
     When I heard that Judah was coming to our town for the sheep shearing ceremony, I took off my widow's garb, veiled myself, and walked out of town to the nearby road. I sat on a rock and swung my right foot. My fancy shoe dangled off my toes.
     Judah had no idea who I was. He propositioned me but said he couldn't pay me then. I asked him for his seal and staff as collateral.
     Judah wanted to kill me when he heard I was with child. But after he saw that his seal and staff belonged to the person who impregnated me, he admitted that he should have given me Shelah as a husband. 
     Now I am the honored mother of twin boys. That’s because I flouted the customs of the fathers. Will I teach my boys to defy such decrees? Will women ever emulate me, and challenge traditions of the fathers?
                     (From Genesis 38:6-26)

Empress Joséphine's Shoe
Empress Josephine
Photo - Michael Pliskin
Empress Joséphine's Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin
     "Joséphine! Forget about your shawl. We're late."
     "It's not my shawl," Joséphine responded. "I lost one of my red brocade shoes. Have you seen it?"
     Napoléon scorned. "I'm leaving," he said. "I'll see you at the Opera."
     Five minutes later Joséphine found her shoe. The coachman who helped her into the carriage coaxed the horses with such ease that before long they saw Napoléon's coach ahead.
     Just then the blast of a nearby explosion shattered the carriage windows.
     "Mon Dieu!" Joséphine screamed.
     She looked out. Napoléon was waving to her from his coach.
     She stared at her shoes. They were covered in glass shards.
                                                             (inspired by a true story)
Hannah Brinker's Silver Skate
Hannah Brinker's skate
Photo - Michael Pliskin
Hannah Brinker's Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin

Hannah Brinker stunned the onlookers as she sped down the frozen Amsterdam canal. They'd never seen a young woman skate so fast.

     "Magic skates," they muttered.

     What they didn't know was that Hannah almost won a pair of silver skates in her home village, where everyone there knew him as Hans.

Dorothy's Shoes

Dorothy's red heels
Photo - Michael Pliskin
Dorothy's Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin
Dorothy glanced at Jon, her handsome co-worker who'd invited her to this costume party. He was at the bar getting two glasses of red wine. She surveyed the other guests, and thought their costumes weird. One man clothed all in green chatted with another covered from head to foot in silver;. Several people dressed as monkeys eyed each other as if they were embarrassed for wearing the same costume. Four witches danced holding hands. And a lion and a scarecrow quaffed beer from cans. The other guests, like Dorothy and Jon, wore masks.
     Dorothy noticed that Jon had taken something out of his pocket and dropped it into one wine glass. Now he was walking towards her. He handed her a glass of merlot with what looked like fragments of crushed chalk floating on top. Dorothy tossed the wine on his white shirt, clicked her ruby heels together three times, and within seconds she was on the couch in her Manhattan apartment.
     "There is no place like home," she sighed.


Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini Flip-Flop 

Photo - Michael Pliskin
Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini Flip-Flop Shoe Story
©Karen Lee Pliskin
The first day I wore my new bathing suit, it was really cold out. I wrapped a blanket around me and ran to the beach. Gidget was already neck-deep in the ocean. She yelled out that the water was really warm. I was so cold that I didn't believe her. But she was right. The ocean was as comfortable as a heated swimming pool.
     Gidget and I must've stayed in the water at least an hour, talking and jumping waves. We didn't want to get out because two obnoxious guys on the shore were teasing me and laughing. "Look at that yellow polka-dot bikini!". You'd think they'd never seen a two-piece before. Jeeeez!

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