Besides commanding millions for his heavy rotation of films, co- shepherding a large brood and building housing in New Orleans, Brad Pitt is adding another set of skills to his resume - designing furniture. His pieces will likely not be heading to an Ikea near you any time soon, but it is not just a passing fancy either. Pitt has been designing buildings and furniture since the 1990s and some of his pieces will be on display in New York in the coming days.
The actor will present a dozen pieces including tables, chars and what Architectural Digest dubbed "one rather fantastic bed" along with dozens of other pieces with his collaborator, Frank Pollaro, whose New Jersey-based company is renowned for its re-productions of Art Deco furnishings.
The display will open November 13th (pollaro.com has details). "I’ve been doodling ideas for buildings and furniture since the early 1990s, when I first discovered [Charles Rennie] Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright,” Pitt said. "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 architectural affinity is evident in his Make It Right foundation, which taps the services of veteran architects to create "quality, affordable housing" in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.
Pollaro noticed Pitt's concepts in a sketchbook the Killing Them Softly actor had made while installing a re-production Ruhlmann desk the actor purchased a few years ago, Pollaro said, "I asked him, 'Why don’t we make some of this stuff real?'" he recalled. "Brad said he thought that could be fun."
Now the two meet regularly pouring over what Pollaro said are "thousands" of ideas. The meetings "last anywhere from seven to ten hours." It's not everyone who gets to collaborate with a Hollywood A-lister mulling over aesthetics. "We talk about design, about materials, about craftsmanship, about classicism, about modernism. He has a respect for the masters of design," noted Pollaro.
The pieces headed for display include a bed, in which only nine will be made in different materials. Additionally, there is a dining table, a cocktail table, several side tables, a few club chairs and a bathtub that fits two in Statuario Venato marble.
The designs will be customized in a variety of material and finishes that will be made in limited productions signed by Pitt and Pollaro who said some pieces may eventually be adapted for larger-scale productions. "The same chair we charge $45,000 for might sell for a fraction of that," said Pollaro.
Despite the new gig, Pitt will maintain his day job. His latest project, Killing Them Softly by Andrew Dominik will hit theaters November 30th.