Pharrell’s ‘GIRLS’ Exhibit Stars…Him? thaxton May 30, 2014 ART, EVENTS In his latest move, the popular musician has co-curated a new art exhibit in Paris. But that’s not his only role. Despite the show’s name, the spotlight is often trained back on him. Call it a publicity stunt extraordinaire. Pharrell Williams, the multi-hyphenate rap artist, fashion designer, and, now, art curator kicked off the opening of the new 700-square-meter premises of Paris’s Galerie Perrotin on Monday with a private concert and his first art exhibition, GIRL, which is dedicated to women…and himself. Indeed, despite the title of the show, a portion of the exhibit features works by some of Pharrell’s artist friends, who chose the musician himself as their muse. Imagine Pharrell’s face emblazoned across a sofa; his body molded into a sculpture; the singer shown dancing with his wife in a flower-power swirl of happy petals; or posing as Napoleon on a diminutive horse before a giant woman rising from the Pyramids. “Artists close to Pharrell decided to offer a tribute to him depicting him as an icon. Each artist remained critical of pop art and pop artists in doing so,” Ashok Adicéam, the show’s co-curator and advisor to the gallery, said. Included in the show is a painting by artist Laurent Grasso that will serve as the cover for one of Pharrell’s albums, as well as a “Peanuts”-like image from KAWS who is designing a perfume bottle for the singer’s new fragrance, GIRL. But once you get past the commercial hype and homage to Pharrell, the exhibition succeeds as a curation of visual stories about women, albeit one that doesn’t have a cohesive message or add much depth to the question of what it means to be female. Forty-eight works from 37 artists, including 18 women, are on display, and the selection is eclectic. “The thing that Pharrell, Emmanuel Perrotin [co-curator and show instigator], and myself wanted was diversity, so you have 37 points of views and 37 intentions which are different, and that is the main intention of the show which is very energetic and mainstream as it has to be,” Adicéam said. In one section of the exhibit that celebrates the idea of womanhood, some of the piece by male artists look quite obvious, while those from women often tell a deeper story.