Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Luke Grant-Muller is an English-born Egyptian, Scot and Ukrainian artist currently living between London and Tokyo. Grant-Muller describes his design signature as “slightly dark, slightly surreal, ambiguous, androgynous, sometimes grimy and sometimes polished.” He mixes it up by experimenting with interesting materials, using them in new ways or new combinations. “I create for me,” he explains,“If others like it, that’s good but my ego is far too delicate to depend on that. Actually that’s a lie; I crave other people’s approval.”
From the artist's website:
Creative director and shoe designer Luke Grant-Muller is an interesting and diverse character. He could easily be described as an all-rounder in many artistic subjects, a man who sometimes works solely on his own or in collaboration with many mediums covering mainly illustration, painting, fashion, music and video.
His work tends to be dark and surreal, bordering on the bizarre and often provide little conceptual explanation. The reason for this, as he explains, is that “it offers a moment of ambiguity for people to read things into the work as they see fit whilst at the same time respecting the viewer’s appreciation of aesthetics and utility.” Since illustration, painting, fashion, music and video have been his main focus over the years, Luke has reluctantly fallen into shoe design, simply because “I couldn’t find the styles I wanted…., or if I did, I would be trying to hobble around in women’s sized shoes.” Surely such a statement would bring a natural smile to your face as you try and imagine him teetering around the room in women’s shoes.
However, after designing his first pair of shoes about a year ago, he is now starting to enjoy it. Since his childhood, Luke says he has been taught to be inquisitive and to mix things to create something new. With no formal background in shoe making, his professional background being music, Luke has through trial and error pursued something that he is extremely proud of.
A talented artist who generally enjoys creating things in any medium means that fashion has been an extension of his art and as such is no exception to this unique shoe designer. He explains that each medium has different qualities and different rewards, despite there being a great deal of overlap, and proudly adds, “Actually, thinking about it, I do find it fun to approach something in an unusual way. Maybe a sculptor would sculpt, a designer would design, an artist would umm… and a composer would compose.” When it comes to fashion, Luke thinks differently and explains that most of what he creates is “really just superficial, there’s nothing deep in it.” Apart from wracking his brain to the point of “…being completely stifled by trying to justify my work with some sort of deep meaning” once his designs are aesthetically pleasing to him, then Luke is happy and if it makes others happy and they see something deeper, then he is also happy. But he stresses the question, “Why should anything that’s created have to have any meaning to be justified?”