Sarah Andelman Speaks to Her Collaboration with Pharrell For Joopiter

Pharrell Williams and Curator Sarah Andelman Unveil Groundbreaking “Just Phriends” Auction Event, Showcasing Diverse Collection of 63 Works

Pharrell Williams, a renowned musician and icon, is collaborating with curator Sarah Andelman to present a groundbreaking auction event called “Just Phriends.” This extraordinary auction, organized as part of the JOOPITER initiative, distinguishes itself from previous endeavors by featuring a remarkable collection of over 63 works contributed by esteemed friends of Pharrell and Sarah. The exclusive auction highlights diversity and innovation, showcasing a wide range of art, design, fashion, jewelry, and archival pieces, many of which were specially created for this occasion. The Impression’s Mackenzie Richard had the opportunity to speak with Sarah Andelman about this highly anticipated event and learn more about the collaboration.

What was the driving inspiration behind the “Just Phriends” auction?

Andelman: The first JOOPITER’s auction was Pharrell’s personal archives with jewelry and fashion items. The second one was with Lorraine Schwartz high-jewelry and precious stones during Art Basel Hong Kong. When Pharrell invited me, I proposed to curate an auction which would bring together artists he worked with in the past, but also designers and new talents. I think the link between all thelots is Pharrell himself, in a more or less visible way, depending on the artist. And the big distinction from previous JOOPITER auctions, but also from usual auctions, is that most of the lots are completely new, made especially for the occasion.

What was the selection process like for the featured 63+ works? What specific criteria or themes guided your choices in assembling this extraordinary collection?

Andelman: Originally I wanted 50 lots total, to match Pharrell’s anniversary this year. But we ended up going up to 62 lots because there were too many friends! I tried to have a diversity of categories: art, design, fashion, jewelry, archives. There were some obvious historical partners for Pharrell, like Takashi Murakami, KAWS, Futura 2000, Daniel Arsham, FriendsWithYou, and brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. But it was also important for me to bring new creators like MSCHF, Gabriela Noelle, Levi Pitters, who are all so talented. The common thread is that all have been inspired by Pharrell’s positive energy. 

How did the collaboration between you and Pharrell come about?

Andelman: At colette, we launched the first collaboration between Pharrell and Moncler.  This was the beginning of multiple events: we carried his brands BBC Ice Cream and Billionaire Boys Club, his collaborations with Moynat, G-Star, Adidas, Comme des Garçons Parfums, Timberland, Domeau & Pérès. In 2014, we organized a “Pharrell Week” wherein we organized a lunch at the water-bar with Jean Imbert, we did some unique macarons with Ladurée, and we even had the barbecue sauce from P’s family! I think that if I would hear about anything Pharrell was doing, I would immediately ask to get it at colette because whatever it was, I knew it would be brilliant! 

Are there any works in the auction that were specifically created or commissioned for this event?

Andelman: Most of the lots have been created especially for the event. Artists like Keiichi Tanaami painted four portraits of Pharrell “à la Picasso;” Gregor Hildebrandt did one of his famous “tape portraits” with Pharrell; Nathan Sawaya did a life-size LEGO sculpture representing Pharrell in one his most iconic looks. I also commissioned Nadine Ghosn, who adapted her iconic Burger ring to a Burger and Fries necklace, which is so special! Invader did a Camouflage Tiles artwork using crystals for the first time. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac created a new version of his iconic Bear jacket, also in camouflage. The list goes on. 

For those fortunate enough to attend the Paris preview, what can they look forward to in terms of the exhibition and the accompanying Gift Shop pop-up? Will there be any exclusive items or limited editions available?

Andelman: The exhibition will be in this beautiful hôtel particulier located strategically 8 avenue Matignon, very close to Christies and Sothebys. It will be a very nice parcours, like visiting a museum. And yes we have tons of exclusive items in the Gift Shop, some merch like t-shirts but also artist editions from Futura 2000, Ceizer, Peter Paid. We’ll present lots of products related to the artists in the auction like Javier Calleja who just did a great collaboration with Mira Mikati, for example. 

The physical activation of the auction during Paris Men’s Fashion Week holds immense allure. What value does this vibrant atmosphere contribute to the overall experience, both for the attendees and the global audience engaging with the event remotely?

Andelman: I think it’s going to be a very intense week. The entire world will be watching Pharrell’s debut show for Louis Vuitton for sure. We’re all so excited! For JOOPITER, it’s the opportunity to share these amazing artworks with all the international crowd coming to Paris for Men’s shows. But the auction is open for bidding to everyone globally online, and we’ll also have lots of content online like Live Conversations with the artists every day, so we hope the whole world can join in with us.