Pharrell's New Exhibition, GIRL, Opens at Galerie Perrotin in Paris
Pharrell Williams opens a new exhibition, GIRL, at Galerie Perrotin in Paris. With the same name as his most recent album, the exhibition is meant to engage with gender and its role and standing in the art world. This exhibition comes out of the partnership of Williams and gallerist Wmmanuel Perrotin.
The show is meant to "celebrate women who are above all free, liberated by artists and their boundless, unfettered imagination". There are many empowering pieces in the exhibition, including works by Cindy Sherman, Marina Abramovi?, Yoko Ono and Sophie Calle. However, Ashok Adicéam, senior adviser at the gallery, mentions the ratio of 18 female artists to 19 male: "It's almost perfect parity between men and women artists, minus one woman." Some of the art mentions this, like Guerrilla Girls and Agnès Thurnauer's work.
But, the Terry Richardson photograph creates a lot controversy as a part of this exhibition. The image is a slice of girl shown from belly button to upper thigh, a chocolate heart dangling in front of her vagina with the words "Eat Me" scrawled in pink. Perrotin says, "Terry has been a friend of the gallery for a long time. We could have selected an image that is, how can I say this, 'easier', less 'ambiguous' ... this is a vision of women that exists, and is represented. He's a photographer that's very important." He continues: "We're behind him. He's a very good guy."
Pharrell said of Richardson's photograph, "He has his own expression ... What we were trying to accomplish with this project was to house many different facets of women," he said. "This was meant to be a democracy, where people could contribute their views as long as we didn't see it as being outside of what we were trying to do ... We want people to talk about these issues; we want to spark conversation." He continued to say, "Just because you're a good girl doesn't mean you don't have naughty thoughts"
Perrotin also said, "I saw [Terry Richardson] on many occasions doing photoshoots, and it's a real big party all together; I promise you the woman part of the photoshoot doesn't look a victim of anything."
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Photo Credit: Takashi Murakami, Portrait of Pharrell and Helen - Dance, 2014. Photograph: Terry Richardson. Courtesy Galerie Perrotin Photograph: Galerie Perrotin