RHODES is thrilled to unveil 'POLYTHEISM,' a captivating new solo exhibition in London by leading contemporary artist Nick Smith. In this new series of original collages and limited-edition prints, Smith delves into the multifaceted universe of sneaker culture, exploring the myriad reasons behind our collective fascination.

"Our choice of footwear often reflects our life's journey. Shoes not only offer comfort and protection but also serve as a medium for expressing our diverse tastes and cultural affiliations. This body of work investigates the intricate relationship between iconic footwear and the subcultures they have become associated with. POLYTHEISM examines these connections, inviting recognition and consideration of the true significance of these cherished cultural icons."


In a world where sneakers transcend cultural boundaries and are venerated by many as fashion icons, Nick Smith investigates the driving forces behind our devotion, whether it be the comforting memories they evoke, the cultural tribes they signify, or the rarity and value they embody. This loyalty has given rise to a near-religious following for these sneakers.


'POLYTHEISM' showcases 17 iconic sneakers that have achieved cult status, featuring 10 limited edition prints representing the 'Hall of Fame' – sneakers that have left an indelible mark on culture - and 7 meticulously handcrafted collages celebrating extraordinarily rare collectible Nike sneakers - ‘The Grails’.

Each piece, in Nick Smith’s signature pixelated style, is woven with Psalm inspired text, rewritten by the artist, radiating reverence and adoration for these esteemed shoes.


The fusion of religious inspired text with imagery of highly revered sneakers, challenges viewers to reflect on the nature of our devotion to what objects we hold in high regard. This juxtaposition encourages exploration of the parallels between religious adoration and the near-spiritual loyalty many people have towards such objects; in this case iconic sneakers.
“By utilising the highly emotive and familiar language of religious texts, I aim to emphasise the deep, almost worshipful connection people have with sneaker culture. The language of reverence and adoration, typically reserved for sacred scriptures, is applied to material possessions, creating a thought-provoking contrast that prompts viewers to question their values and priorities.”
This pairing also serves to underscore the idea that sneakers have transcended their utilitarian function, evolving into objects that hold cultural, social, and even spiritual significance for their followers. It suggests that, for some, sneakers have become akin to modern-day idols, inspiring fervour and devotion that rival religious practices.
In addition to the artworks, Nick Smith showcases each sneaker that inspired them, affording viewers the opportunity to compare his creations with the shoes themselves and granting an exclusive chance to view The Grails in person, including rare sneakers like the Albert Heijn AM1 and London SB Dunk.


Pop up address:

28 Henrietta St




Opening reception: 16th May, 18:00 - 21:00 - RSVP ESSENTIAL


Pop-Up Opening Times:

Wednesday 17th - 11:00 - 7:00pm
Thursday 18th - 11:00 - 7:00pm
Friday 19th - 11:00 - 7:00pm
Saturday 20th - 11:00 - 7:00pm
Sunday 21st - 11:00 - 6:00pm