Review: The Art of Being Pharrell

A few months ago, I completely  fell for advertising on Facebook.  Like any other uneventful day, I was scrolling through my news-feed when I saw a sponsored post by W Magazine asking Facebook users to vote for best magazine cover by “liking” one of the options.  I voted, started looking around their Facebook page, and eventually found myself paying $5 for a five month subscription to the over-sized publication. Yeah, I know… I fell for it and contributed to the success of pesky online advertising.  The worst part? I didn’t even read the articles – I really only looked at the photographs of Miley Cyrus where she dyed her eyebrows blonde. The magazines ended up pilled on my desk… until a few days ago.

pharrell-urs-fischer-cover

Cover artwork by Urs Fischer

I received W’s Art edition in the mail and noticed something peculiar about the cover. Contemporary artist Urs Fischer (who’s work I first saw at MOCA) created the cover artwork using one of his signature techniques: covering the subject’s face with an inanimate object. In this case, a silver hardware screw over “Happy” singer Pharrell Williams.

The interview discusses many aspects of Pharrell’s career including his earlier work, his response to the controversy of “Blurred Lines” which he produced, and even his famous infamous “Smokey the Bear” hat and its contribution to the explosion of the singer/producer’s fame. However, unlike other profiles of music artists, every page of this interview showcases a piece of visual art contemporary artists have made with Pharrell as the main subject.

by Japanese artist Mr.

by Japanese artist Mr.

 

Included in the spreads are works by Mr., Jr., Alex Katz, and Rob Pruitt. If you don’t subscribe to W, you’re about to “get lucky” because you can view these artworks online.

After actually reading this edition of W, and not just looking at the layout designs, I suppose falling for advertising this one time was worth it. My admiration for Fischer’s art only grew stronger, I checked out other artists’ work, and even Pharrell’s long journey for a successful career was interesting enough for me to finish reading the entire (several paged) article.

 

Do I think that ‘Blurred Lines’ is about gender equality like Pharrell and Robin Thicke have claimed? Ha! Absolutely not. But that is whole other topic.

Do I like Pharrell’s hat? No, but I can admit it’s become iconic.

Great Event: San Diego Comic Con

If you’ve seen some Ewoks or Wonder Woman lyrca-strapped ladies pass by you in the LA and OC area lately, it’s probably because it’s Comic Con. The massive international event has been gathering fan boys, geeks, gaming/comic/film/science fiction/anime/cosplay enthusiasts for years and San Diego is ripe again for another round as the epicenter of global pop-culture fandom.

Read more

Great Design: Daft Punk’s New Action Figures

Daft Punk – you know, that French duo that has taken over radio stations worldwide with their catchy “Get Lucky” single off their new ‘this-is-what-modern-dance-music-should-sound-like’ album, RAM? Yes, that robot-looking duo. Their fans (including myself) are rejoicing just a little more this week following the announcement that the pair will soon be available as action figures, modeled off their latest attire from the album. Read more

Great Music: Kate Nash

So I hung out with my friend Kate last night. At least, that’s what it felt like. At The Observatory in Costa Mesa, Nash and her band brought the kind of energy you always hope to find in a show. I wasn’t watching some jaded musicians play the hits you know must annoy them by now. I was at a party with my friends and we had a blast.

Read more

I Just Blue Myself – May 25th

Arrested Development fans! As you probably know, the much-anticipated Season 4 will be released on Netflix May 26th. In celebration, Great Over Good is hosting an Arrested-Development themed art show Saturday, May 25th with a special appearance by

STEVE HOLT!

blue myself flyer

Join us at Great Over Good in Santa Ana (not Mexico) for a night of Bluth-themed art, frozen bananas, and all the Arrested Development references you can handle! Feel free to don your finest banana suits, $3,000 suits, $5,000 suits, or orange jumpsuits. Never-nudes, never fear! Cutoffs are welcome as well, as long as they effectively hide your thunder.

Doors open at 6pm. $15 at the door. If you purchased your presale tickets online, please bring your ID to the show. We will not be mailing out tickets. If you have any questions, email us at Info@greatovergood.com.

See you there!

 

Great Over Good is located at:

211 E Columbine Ave Suite G

Santa Ana, CA 92707

Presale Tickets No Longer Available *

Great music: Paid Dues hip-hop fest

It feels bittersweet using my introductory post to this lovely blog as a simultaneous salutation and pre-emptive farewell, but it’s how it has to be. That’s not to say I won’t be posting as frequently as possible leading up to the return to my hometown of Austin, Texas this August. I intend to blog my big, Southern heart out. But I may as well divulge the departure here, now, because living anywhere other than Southern California – my home for the past seven years and base as a music journalist and photographer for most of the last four years – ties into the purpose of this post.

Which is to give a shout out to a exceptional sector of this region’s music scene that I will miss terribly: independent and underground hip-hop.

Read more