A Pair of Boots

A Pair of Boots, 2018
watercolour on paper, 144 x 106 cm

A Pair of Boots is a watercolour based on the boots found in the famous photograph of Lee Miller bathing in Hitler’s bathtub on April 30, 1945. Miller, the only female combat photographer in Europe during World War II, had photographed the Dachau concentration camp earlier that day. She then travelled to Munich, by this time under U.S. occupation, and photographed Hitler’s apartment extensively.

This watercolour isolates a key element from Miller’s photograph: her boots, which stain Hitler’s bath mat with dirt from Dachau. The composition also references Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, A Pair of Shoes, 1886, which was the centerpiece of Martin Heidegger’s essay The Origin of the Work of Art, and the subject of much debate in the discourse of 20th century aesthetics.