Digitally Composed Photographs

Artist Statement

The sole of a marathon runner’s shoe offers evidence of the endless hours and sacred miles committed to chasing dreams, often as tenuous as the first steps into the freezing morning rain. The shoe expresses the contradictions it embodies: determination and apprehension, victory and defeat, strength and fear, dreams and disappointment.

I am an artist. These are my shoes. In my abstracted photographs the shoe transcends the raw physicality of the work to reveal the inherent beauty in a quest that demands the full attention of the mind and the body. In this project, I approach endurance running and training for speed both as an artist and a committed practitioner of the sport.

Extensive accoutrements accompany a seemingly simple sport: hydration packs, race fuel, GPS watches, pre-race protective clothing, Yaktrax, foot pods, head lamps, and ear buds. Along with the shoes, they illuminate the visual story of my athletic pursuits.

I use my camera to record my running gear and then collage the imagery in Photoshop as I explore personally meaningful and culturally unique connections between two very different worlds: art and athletics.

All images © Kati Toivanen

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