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PARIS — Pharrell Williams is putting on a show — an art show in Paris, that is.
Following the March release of his album, G I R L, the singer continues to celebrate women with his new art exhibit of the same name at Galerie Perrotin in Paris. The display features 48 pieces handpicked or commissioned by the hat-wearing musician, who says, “I have always mixed artworks into my music, clothing, jewelry and my entire way of life. They stimulate creativity, mutual curiosity and simply happiness!”
Much like Pharrell’s musical and lifestyle ventures, the show displays a genuine sense of joy and features familiar faces, including works of art based on Lucy van Pelt (from The Peanuts), Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Mona Lisa, and Nefertiti. Among the contemporary pleasers are Ryan McGinley‘s airy-fairy-like photography, and historic pieces such as footage of Yoko Ono‘s 1965 Carnegie Recital Hall performance, in which the artist invited the audience to come forward and cut off her clothes, piece by piece.
While one piece shows artist Jean-Michel Othoniel hanging one of his giant-size necklaces of blown-glass beads, Takashi Murakami adapted a Terry Richardson-photographed portrait of Pharrell and his wife, model and designer Helen Lasichanh, in which the couple embrace each other in their formal wear against a background of smiling flowers. In another room, a piece by Daniel Arsham sees Pharrell standing against one wall, where he’s a molded sculpture of shattered glass and resin in a monk-like state of meditation.
For the anonymous feminist group the Guerrilla Girls, their mural sets an ironic tone to the overall setting by displaying masculine quotes from some of history’s most well-regarded men, which include Napoleon‘s “La nature destinait les femmes a etre nos esclaves. Elles sont notre propriete.” (“Nature intended women to be our slaves. They are our property.”); Frank Sinatra‘s “Une fille bien equilibree n’a rien dans la tete et tout dans le chandail.” (“A well-balanced girl is one with an empty head and a full sweater.”); and Confucius‘ “Cent femmes ne valent pas un seul testicule.” (“One hundred women are not worth a single testicle.”)
The work positions Pharrell’s brand of inspired goodwill as a welcome movement. “After the launch party for my new gallery in New York in late 2013, Pharrell took a few of us to listen to the first five tracks of his upcoming album G I R L,” shares his longtime friend and collaborator, gallerist Emmanuel Perrotin. “The songs put us in such a good mood that we danced to all of them.”
“G I R L” kicks off Galerie Perrotin’s new Parisian space, which occupies the former ballroom at the Hotel du Grand Veneur, a 17th century hotel particulier in the formerly aristocratic Marais district.
“G I R L” runs through June 25. Find more info here.
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