Shock Value

Gaetano Pesce's Belt Lamp, 1995.

Gaetano Pesce's Belt Lamp, 1995. Photograph by Clemens Kois, courtesy of Patrick Parrish Gallery.

Interior designer Jim Walrod—the creative force behind The Standard L.A. and Steven Alan's Nolita Annex—is known for bringing quirky pragmatism and a sixth sense for what’s next to the spaces he designs. Now, at Patrick Parrish Gallery, he’s putting his obsession for radical lights from the 1960s and 1970s on display with an enlightening exhibition culled from his private collection. “It doesn’t really work as anything other than sculpture,” he says of the outré pieces. “It is stuff that within the vanguard of how people look at design has been overlooked, but I was attracted to it because I had never seen anything like it.” Acquired incrementally over the past 20 years from antique shops and auctions, Walrod’s extensive archive is a cornucopia of delightfully weird one-offs and rarified editions from Italian masters like Gaetano Pesce (a favorite), Gae Aulenti and Ettore Sottsass—all of which glow with the same subversive sense of play. “Radical design is a story that hasn’t really been told because it’s an intellectual market,” says Walrod. “The first piece of radical design I ever saw as a kid was walking by the first Comme Des Garçons‎ store—there was an Alessandro Mendini Pointillism chair in the window and I remember thinking: ‘What the fuck is that?’”

Rad Light opens March 31st and runs through April 19th at Patrick Parrish Gallery, New York, patrickparrish.com.