'My Shoe Is Your Shoe' by Andy Warhol (1955) in high resolution

Before he began transforming cans of Campbell's soup into icons of Pop art and hanging around with Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick and anyone else seeking 15 minutes of fame, Andy Warhol had a thing for shoes.

Heels, flats, boots. Whatever. And like his later obsessions with soup cans, Brillo boxes and Marilyn Monroe, his footwear fetish became the stuff of art.

"Throughout the '50s, he was making a name for himself," said Vivian Patterson, curator of "Warhola Becomes Warhol, Andy Warhol: Early Work," on display through June 10. "And he did it by making ordinary things into extraordinary things."

Hence the fancy footwear. They're blue with buckles, pink with straps and gold with purple trim. But there's something almost comical about them, and about the words Warhol scribbled underneath the images - captions such as "Any one for shoes" and "My shoe is your shoe."

"He made the shoes larger than life and gave them a personality," said Donna De Salvo, chief curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. "He makes them into portraits without a face and turns them into objects of desire. He understood how images drive the world."

The series was done in the 1950s, when the artist still went by his given name, Andy Warhola. The Pittsburgh native, who died on Feb. 22, 1987, wound up in New York City in 1949 after studying commercial art at Carnegie Technical University. Known for his quirky and creative ideas, he began making big money illustrating for magazines such as McCalls, Harper's and Ladies' Home Journal.