On Wednesday, September 11, The Source Magazine was invited to a very intimate unveiling of Daniel Arsham and Pharrell’s Art Installation. The event was held in the penthouse of the Standard East Village and Brian Donnelly – AKA KAWS, Terry Richardson, Andre Balazs, Richard Chai, Q-Tip, CL from 2NE1, Genevieve Jones, Jessica White, Tristan Wilds were a few of the notables in attendance. Drinks for the party were provided by Corzo Tequila.
Using a petrification process, Arsham created replicas of Pharrell’s keyboard and drum machine from the late 1980’s. “For the project with Williams, Arsham has located, uncovered and recast an original keyboard and drum machine in volcanic ash, rusted steel, crystal, and carbon dust” according to the press release. These instruments were integral to Pharrell’s career.
How did the collaboration with Pharrell come about?
Daniel Arsham: I asked him ‘What was something that was really important to you at the beginning of your career musically, that you made music on, that you don’t have or use anymore?’ and he described his keyboard that had these drum pads on it. I did a bunch of research and found out it that it was a Cassio MT 500. I then integrated that sort of language back into my own sort of work.
What do you admire about Daniel as an artist?
Pharrell: I love the fact that he works across many different disciplines. I was just saying to someone just now, he’s like the Fred Astaire of art. He’s like a triple threat, he’s just a really, really genius guy across many different disciplines.
Q: Daniel recreated replicas of your early equipment. Can you tell us how technology evolving has helped you as an artist and creator?
Pharrell: Technology evolving is just like a natural part of functionality and the concern for functionality for humanity. If you notice we just continue to try and make everything better and better and better. Why? It’s because as a species we have what the monkeys don’t have. The monkeys can reach for the fruit, we can reach for the stars. There’s always room for improvement. There’s always room for the pursuit of excellence. That’s an infinite trek and journey, and it’s naturally engrained in human beings. If not, we would have burnt out a long time ago.
Q: Tell us your earliest memories of art?
Pharrell: My earliest influences of art is the music I listened to as a child.