Who Really Collects Art: Pt III Pharrell Williams

Part III: Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams is an American singer-rapper-songwriter-record producer, equally known for his Grammy Awards as he is for his stint as a judge on The Voice. Perhaps not surprisingly, Pharrell is also an entrepreneur and fashion designer who owns a multi-media creative collective, called  i am Other, an umbrella company for his fashion and art endeavors.

Pharrell’s Rollicking Idealist tendencies and artistic creativity have lead to a number of collaborations. He’s created jewelry for Louis Vuitton, collaborated on an Art Basel-showcased piece with Takashi Murakami, and designed furniture alongside Domeau & Pérès. Most recently, Pharrell partnered with adidas to create the Pharrell Williams Hu NMD Shoes, where a pair will easily set you back a couple thousand dollars (on the second-hand market, mind you).

He also happens to own a museum-worthy collection of contemporary sculptures, paintings, and statues that would make any Pop Art admirer’s heart skip a beat! Hardly the passive collector, Pharrell has partnered with some of the most sought after contemporary artists of our time, and in July 2019, he even curated an exhibit at the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts in Paris, entitled Carte blanche to Mr. and Pharrell Williams: A Call To Action.

I don’t buy anything that’s not meaningful. You have to surround yourself with things that have a purpose and a clear function.

Pharrell Williams

Who is he collecting?
Takahi Murakami

Takahi Murakami

``Flower Ball``

Among the biggest names in contemporary art, Murakami’s distinctive style speaks to all Rollicking Idealists, and “Flower Ball” highlights his distinctive style: kaleidoscopic color, repeated motifs and flattened representational picture plane.

Daniel Arsham

Daniel Arsham

``Future Pharrell``

Daniel Arsham created a life size sculpture of Pharrell for the G I R L exhibition at Galerie Perrotin. One of ten works commissioned for the show, the process required Arsham to create a full body cast of Pharrell before dousing it in 200 pounds of shattered glass.

Daniel Arsham

Daniel Arsham

``CASIO MT-500``

Part of a larger ongoing series Daniel Arsham transforms Pharrell’s “CASIO MT-500” into a decaying monochromatic, archeological discovery from a future, dystopian world.  The MT-500 keyboards were modeled in the forms out of geological materials: volcanic ash, crystal, and steel.

KAWS

KAWS

``White Chum``

Brian Donnelly, the ex-Disney illustrator better known as KAWS, created his first vinyl toy in 1999: an eight-inch “Companion” whose round belly, noodly limbs, and white gloves immediately reminded viewers of the cartoons made famous by his former workplace.

Pharrell & French design duo Domeau & Pérès

Pharrell & French design duo Domeau & Pérès

``Perspective Chair`` (2008)

As part of the Perspective Series, Pharrell and French design duo Domeau & Pérès collaborated on the Perspective Chair. It was produced in four colors: red, black, teal and yellow, and exhibited at Paris’s Galerie Perrotin in 2008.

Art Trivia
  • Williams owns over 700 Art Toys which were displayed in This is not a toy exhibit at Design Exchange Toronto
  • To celebrate the release of his second solo album G I R L, and the opening of Galerie Perrotin’s new space, Pharrell and Perrotin brought together 48 works from leading contemporary artists including: Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono, Takashi Murakami and JR 
  • Artist and sculptor Daniel Arsham created a life -sized sculpture of Pharrell for the G I R L exhibition at Galerie Perrotin. One of ten works commissioned for the show, the process required Arsham to create a full body cast of Pharrell before filling the mold with 200 pounds of shattered glass to form Pharrell’s figure