Matthias Winkler


‘For me the ugly or grotesque adds another level of beauty. I think its complexity has a longer lasting affect than just pure loveliness.’

The concept of the ‘Urban Autochton’ is central to Matthias Winkler’s artistic work. It encompasses people, rooted to the land and wildlife, who nevertheless find themselves interacting with a more modern and urban environment. Winkler’s footwear designs are based on telling the story of these characters, set in a post-apocalyptic scenery and relying on their natural instincts as a means of survival. Winkler’s shoes are very much a reflection of this coalescence of the rustic and urbane, incorporating materials such as rough leather, soft fur, tar or rubber, in creating protective, camouflaged, yet beautiful and aesthetically pleasing pieces. Materials take centre stage in Winkler’s design process, and the notions of decay, wear and staining are thoroughly explored by the artist. The resulting footwear pieces are strikingly distinctive, mixing the rawness and softness of the natural with the robustness and concreteness of the urban.

Matthias Winkler (*1981, Klagenfurt, Austria) finished his painting education at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, in 2008, after which he moved to London to pursue an MA degree in Menswear/Footwear at the Royal College of Art. His work has been shown in various exhibitions including the Museum of Fleeting Art, Vienna, 2011; Value Point – Siemens_artLab, Galerie Hilger, Vienna, 2009; The Essence MAK, Museum for Applied Arts, Vienna, 2009.