That’s one high heel.
Akron’s John Comunale is at it again, creating a quirky commercial sculpture.
This time, he’s crafting a 7-foot-tall stiletto shoe — a super-size version of the high-heeled footwear some women love and others find miserably uncomfortable.
But no one will be wearing this giant heel, made out of foam insulation board.
Comunale, owner of Comunale Scuptural Concepts, is fashioning the “soleful” sculpture for a client of Gallo Displays, a Cleveland-area maker of displays for trade shows and other venues.
Comunale, who has been designing high-profile commercial/public art for decades, said he can’t reveal the name of the client. Officials with Gallo Displays did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The shoe “has been a leg up for business,” Comunale wryly noted, explaining that his sales have been squeezed by the lean times.
The sculptor’s fanciful portfolio includes the stainless-steel version of Zippy — UA’s kangaroo mascot — that lives outside the McDonald’s restaurant on East Exchange Street, and a giant steel cockroach that used to crawl up an exterior wall of a local exterminating company. This 13-foot bug now adorns the outside of a Youngstown exterminating business.
Comunale’s latest creation isn’t just any huge heel. It will be turned into a waterfall, with the water spouting from the heel and flowing down the instep. The holding tank and pump are in the shoe’s toe.
“It will have a floodlight on the waterfall and detail LEDs around the perimeter of the shoe’s opening,” said Comunale, whose studio is in Canal Place in downtown Akron.
An auto body painter will paint the shoe dark green. “It will have a finish like a new car,” Comunale said.
The artist will then start work on a second shoe — for the same client of Gallo Displays. This shoe will be a big clog, featuring a children’s sliding board. It will be constructed out of foam block.
Comunale also will soon start on a 7½-foot light fixture for a restaurant set to open in the area.
Other fanciful Comunale creations dotting the area landscape include:
• A set of gates for a garden at First Congregational Church on the edge of the University of Akron campus.
• A footbridge, made from recycled metal, behind Old Trail School in Bath Township.
• Cement sun bears at the Akron Zoo.
• The clock outside the historic Everett building downtown.
• The big stainless-steel catfish at Furnace and Howard streets in Akron’s Northside district near downtown.
Before returning to Akron 20-plus years ago, Comunale spent time in North Carolina constructing statues and structures for movies, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II and Mr. Destiny.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org