Rob Wheeler, the best waiter in Studio City (Spark Woodfire Grill), is also one of the most playful new artists in town, serving playful art printed onto well-made thongs.
His shoes are often inspired by real life creatures. Most of them can be viewed on his website: http://www.robartgallery.com/gift_shop
His business card sports a whimsical portrait of his afghan. His shoes offer creatures of all sorts, some of which are his colorful interpretations of pets. Two of Rob's three dogs watch us as we talk in his studio.
He narrates his collection of art and original creations for the beach, speaking proudly about manufacture quality, the fun and presence his thongs offer; and he's right. His company, Robartgallery, offers some of the most fun shoes I've ever seen.
I bought "art shoes" once, chosen from a collection of very cool oil paintings made right onto cheap, Chinese canvas shoes. They were fun for performing comedy, but you wouldn't want to actually walk anywhere in them. They seemed to actually maximize impact with the ground, and they soaked up sweat and dirt until it was like slipping into dirt footwrap. They lasted one summer.
Rob Wheeler offers beach shoes that are not cheap, nor will they wear out quickly, nor will they look old and dirty shortly. He has thought through the experience as an artist and as a person who wears thongs and wants them to last.
I've attached a gallery of some of Rob's fantabulations. Be sure to play my video interview with Rob, peruse his website, and try a pair of his thongs this summer. I am wearing one now (I chose the Mt. Rushmore-esque pair to start, but I'm going to pick up several more).
I kept thinking, "They're not really shoes!" as Rob described them that way, until I put them on. They are shoes. They are art. Highly recommend.
Rob's art has been on display at galleries, coffee shops, restaurant walls, online, and is currently displayed under the feet of the playful.
(Mention our Patch for a first-time discount.)