If it’s not a toy, then you are probably thinking, “Well then what are they?” just like I did when I received the announcement and press release in my inbox as few weeks ago. Although I was flummoxed, the minute I read that Producer, Singer, Songwriter and avid art collector Pharrell Williams was a part of this project, I knew it was something I was not going to miss. The exhibit’s title was inspired by the universal disclaimer often found on product packaging and gives patrons a glimpse into the world of the designer toy trend which unbeknownst to me, these items made out of plastic, plush and vinyl have been a hot commodity in the art circles since the early 90’s.
As a long time supporter of many of the artists showcased such as; KAWS, Takashi Murakami, FriendsWithYou and MediCom, it seemed like a natural choice for the DX museum to have Pharrell play such an integral role in the project. Fashion, art, and music have always gone together so it came as no surprise that these key elements were found amongst the collection. Fashion designers Anna Sui and Vivienne Westwood both had pieces on display and Fashion Journalist Jeanne Beker donated pieces from her personal collection – one which will undeniably become the favourite of every female attendee; the Chanel Be@rbrick toy doll designed by Karl Lagerfeld himself. Although impressive, what is most likely to catch the attention of the guests is the exhibition’s most pricey piece: The Simple Things co-designed by Pharrell, Takashi Murakami and NYC based jewelery designer Jacob Arabo. A ginormous grinning head with miniature diamond encrusted version’s of the Grammy award winning artist’s favourite things, which first unveiled during Miami Art Basel in 2009 before making it’s rounds to Chateau de Versailles in Paris and London’s Tate Museum.
“This Is Not A Toy” will be on at Canada’s National Design Museum, Design Exchange from now until May 19th, 2014. For more information or to purchase tickets online head to www. dx.org