Art Of The Mundane: Shining Shoes

If the internet has taught me anything it’s that, from the right perspective, anything can become fascinating. It’s a particular sort of alchemy comprised of varying parts talent, ingenuity, and obsession. Blogs are full of such inanities turned art projects; thousands of words devoted to even the most banal activities. Sites like YouTube are littered with such exercises in elevating the everyday, such as the one shown here in which gentleman goes about shining a shoe. Never uttering a word, the viewer is instead treated to a series of precise movements set to a soundtrack of clinking, tapping, rattling, and scratching. It is almost disturbingly riveting.

via Dark Roasted Blend

6 Responses to “Art Of The Mundane: Shining Shoes”

  1. Michael Riess Says:

    I found that strangely intriguing.

  2. Nadya Says:

    I. Loved. This clip. It put me in a total trance. I felt just blissed-out watching it. Something about the textures and the sounds was deeply satisfying. As a child, I was fascinated by my dad’s shoe polish kit. I loved the shape and design of the tins, the smell of the shoe polish (paging Dr. Brosius), the texture of the wooden brushes. We used to play street hockey with a shoe polish tin. The Soviet brand of black shoe polish was called Gutaline. Anyway, this clip just brought me back to a lot of very fond memories. So thank you for posting this, Ross.

    On a practical note, I did get some polish and a brush a while back for my boots, and just the other day I was thinking, “I need to find some instructions online for how to do this properly.” In addition to being a great work of art, the video above is also a great how-to!

  3. Terra Trouve Says:

    I think the reason I found this so entrancing was that it is portrayed as a labour of love. One that has been repeated so many times that it has become second nature. Each different step is a layer of care added to these shoes, but each layer is applied with such professionalism that it seems robotic on the surface. which is not the case; he’s giving that shoe some sweet sweet lovin’.

  4. Zoetica Says:

    Oh yes, Nadya… That smellllllmmfffmff

    GUTALIN: LUDSHAYA pasta dl’a obuvi.

  5. DerelictHat Says:

    I really want a close up of that gentleman’s face. He really strikingly reminds me of Takemoto Novala, who I could definitely see getting obsessive about his shoe care.

  6. Alice Says:

    Is this sort of thing maybe a psychological backlash against all the extraneous stimuli that bombards our brains nowadays? A striving toward the appreciation of simple, “honest” things? I know that I definitely crave down-to-earth visuals like this in contrast to all video games and movies with which we’re otherwise surrounded.