Friday, November 09, 2012

Brad Pitt Turns A Furniture Designer In Partnership With Pollaro

Brad Pitt joins a familiar ensemble cast. This time Pitt’s costars are Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Pierre Chareau, and Paul Dupré-Lafon. In his debut as a furniture designer, the actor is presenting about a dozen pieces—tables, chairs, and one rather fantastic bed—alongside 45 or so works by his collaborator, Frank Pollaro, whose New Jersey firm is noted for its impeccable reproductions of Art Deco furnishings.

The unveiling, which will take place November 13 through 15 in New York, has been years in the making. “I’ve been doodling ideas for buildings and furniture since the early 1990s, when I first discovered [Charles Rennie] Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright,” says Pitt. “Actually, I found Wright in college, when looking for a lazy two-point credit to get out of French. It forever changed my life.”

Pitt’s passion for architecture and design is well established, evidenced by his Make It Right foundation, which enlists prominent architects to create quality affordable housing in post-Katrina New Orleans, as well as by his high-profile collecting of modernist and contemporary furniture. When Pollaro paid Pitt a visit to install a reproduction Ruhlmann desk the actor had commissioned a few years ago, he spotted Pitt’s sketchbook, filled with drawings of furniture designs.

They started with the bed—an Art Deco ocean liner of a bed, featuring a lustrous tropical-hardwood frame that extends from its gently curved headboard, along the floor, to a graceful arc that ends in a cantilevered bench capable of seating, one imagines, the entire Jolie-Pitt clan. Refinements include exposed nickel trusses to support the king-size mattress, integrated shagreen foot pads, and nickel side tables with silk-under-glass tops that seem more suited for cocktails than alarm clocks. It took Pollaro and his team more than two years to make the piece, in part because of “difficult physics and engineering issues related to the simplicity of the design,” he says. Once it was completed, he and Pitt agreed it should be exhibited. But not just the bed—a whole collection of Pitt’s creations. And their partnership was born.

In addition to the bed—only nine will be made, each in different materials—the Pitt pieces include a dining table, a cocktail table, several side tables, a few club chairs, even a bathtub for two in Statuario Venato marble. That line can be geometric, as in the case of a 17-foot-long wood dining table whose jagged base dramatically zigzags at unexpected angles. Or it can be sinuous, as with a glass-top side table that features a wispy spiraling metal base finished in 24K gold.

All of the initial designs, customizable in a variety of materials and finishes, will be made in numbered editions or limited production and signed by Pitt and Pollaro.


Source: Architectural Digest
 
 

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