Critics’ Picks

View of “Didi Rojas: You’re Doing Amazing Sweetie,” 2019.

View of “Didi Rojas: You’re Doing Amazing Sweetie,” 2019.

New York

Didi Rojas

373 Broadway 6th floor
September 7–October 19, 2019

“You’re doing amazing sweetie!” said notorious momager Kris Jenner to her most famous little dividend, Kim Kardashian, during her daughter’s 2007 photo shoot for Playboy. Kris’s croon serves as the title for Didi Rojas’s first solo show in New York, which features forty-two single shoes (right foot only!) on a low pedestal in the center of the petite gallery. The footwear is diverse, ranging from a vertiginous Nike platform and a leopard-print brothel creeper to a Gucci slipper and a skyscraper-y go-go boot. But don’t even think about slipping one on. They’re all ceramic—your comfort is not up for consideration.

The tactility of the material and Rojas’s attention to detail in these works—like the exposed clay coils on the inner ankle of Two words. . . Two. Words. (all works cited, 2019) or the hand-scored ridges lining the tread of a Chuck Taylor called I’ve been finishing my sentences saying you know what I mean—are exquisite. And see how the paint is lovingly applied to the minuscule interior crevice of the former work’s Tabi toe? Such sweet minutiae are indices of Rojas’s careful hand.

Titles including Weird flex but same flex or the meme-inflected Chaotic Evil gesture toward the strange circulation of signifiers in the post-internet infosphere. This sense of deranged gaiety, a hallmark of online communication, shines through the shoes’ particularities. Certain elements betray a net-native sensibility: the fantastical colorways, for one, or the recurrence of outlandish platforms, ripped right from an “e-girl starter kit.” The exhibition’s kick lies in this tension between the meta and the material—the disorienting speed at which mass-cultural jokes disseminate, set against the corporeal earthiness of fastidiously crafted ceramic detail.