Costa Magarakis, a Tel Aviv-based artist who specializes in sculpture and also goes by the name “Duck Pirate,” uses the structure of shoes as the base objects for several of his work. At the hands of the artist, simulated footwear becomes the body of an animal, a maritime vessel, or new type of creature altogether. His work is described as existing within a “gothic wonderland illuminating the gray area between truth and lies.”
The result often feels ripped from illustrations that fill children’s books. Whether it’s Jules Verne or Tim Burton, influences seem to span time, from Victorian iconography to modern horror conventions. Fantastical scenes unfold when he implements tiny figures atop an upside-down shoe form, a platform for a new, expansive scene. Differing types of glass, bronze, resin, clay, paint, and other media are used to craft these pieces, typically on fiberglass structures. And each is a one-of-a-kind creation.
The artist sometimes uses his Etsy shop, under “spiderjelly lab,” to sell these pieces. Magarakis often posts in-progress shots of his latest projects on his Instagram page.