frieze video - 18 Jan 2019

Artist Eric Mack on His White Leather Centaur Boots: ‘It’s a Time that Won’t Come Again’

‘The idea of wearing them while painting is a really great image’

1:26

Through a veil of fog, a pair of white platform boots pans into view. ‘I got these boots about three years ago, from a sample sale in downtown New York City,’ says artist Eric Mack in the latest instalment of ‘The Thing’. ‘They’re called centaur boots, like the mythical creature’, the painter explains.

Mack wanted them not least because they could dramatically change the silhouette of any outfit. But the boots also ‘change the way that you walk around; I had to teach myself how to walk in them,’ he recalls.

‘The elevation from the floor is almost like you are wearing a shoe with a built-in pedestal.’

The boot’s brand, Hood by Air, isn’t in existence any more, Mack explains. However this makes them a relic: ‘It’s a time that won’t come again. The nature of fashion is always about a kind of ending and a new beginning.’

‘The Thing’ is a new series of eight short films starring Jarvis Cocker, Neil Tennant, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Goshka Macuga, Jeremy Scott, Hank Willis Thomas, Eric Mack and Haegue Yang. For the series, Frieze asked each artist to choose a single object of significance from their working or living environment and discuss what makes it special. Directed by Peter Strickland and produced by Jacqui Edenbrow, the series is based on a long-running frieze d/e magazine column, ‘Das Ding’, featuring artists such as Brian O'DohertyAdrian Piper and Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry. Read all the previous series’ respondents here.

Eric Mack’s ‘Lemme walk across the room’ opened at New York’s Brooklyn Museum on 11 January. It runs until 7 July.