American pop superstar Pharrell Williams has turned his talents to art, opening an exhibition in Paris this week titled ‘Girl’ – also the name of his latest music album.
Already a singer, songwriter, producer, and designer, he’s now the curator of a contemporary art exhibition in Paris.
He’s teamed up with long-time friend and gallery-owner Emmanuel Perrotin for the month-long show at the Galerie Perrotin in the French capital.
Williams told reporters at the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday: “I want to learn. To be able to collaborate with these artists and walk around in their space, you are walking around in their minds. No university can offer you that.”
The artist added that the exhibition, in which half of the 37 contributing artists are women, was a bid to set the record straight on his attitude to women, following criticism of hit song “Blurred Lines”, released in 2013 in partnership with R&B singer Robin Thicke.
The “Blurred Lines” video features three fully-dressed men larking around with scantily clad women, while the song concerns a woman in a club who may not necessarily be interested in the amorous advances.
The video even spurred a hugely popular feminist parody, titled “Defined Lines” in which three fully dressed women sing about sexism to three scantily clad men.
“I’m sure when people first saw [Blurred Lines] they were like it’s a bunch of men doing tadadada – but it was actually written by a woman,” Williams said. “The way that I see women is that I love them in every way. I make no apologies for the wide spectrum of affinity for women, from A to Z.”
The exhibition may be dedicated to the ladies, but Pharrell is a prominent feature in many of the artworks, while many others feature women in advanced states of undress.