Furniture Pimp

Apr 26, 2018 · 3 min read

Jim Walrod’s eye was legendary. Mike D of the Beastie Boys called him his ‘Furniture Pimp’ (Rolling Stone) in sincere gratitude of his talents as a designer and in appreciation for the breadth of his knowledge. Clients worldwide — from David Bowie to André Balasz — sought his unparalleled expertise. Although Jim saw his role as a guide, aiding clients in finding their own distinct eye, it was his unique vision that shaped so many others.

Photo by Collin Hughes

His career began after a chance meeting with Andy Warhol led Jim to work for Fiorucci, the legendary style makers. There he was introduced to the radical designs of Ettore Sottsass and the Memphis group, as well as the key members of the New York art world. In 1987, Jim entered the New York art scene with his first gallery on Lafayette. He opened Form & Function in 1998, which became a mainstay for those looking for expertly curated vintage design. He remained true to his unique vision throughout his career, later lending his expertise as an interior designer, adviser and curator. With exhibitions at R & Company and Patrick Parrish gallery, Jim shared his collecting vision with an even wider audience.

Untitled, c. 2015, Walrod acquired this work directly from the artist, Barry McGee. Photo by Wright

Jim’s beloved Chinatown loft always remained the truest expression of his remarkable collecting vision. Works by friends were placed alongside modern icons creating an interior rich in dialog. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Jim sought works labeled as ugly or incompatible. And it is those experiments that make his collection so wonderfully rare and unique. Jim shared glimpses of this extraordinary space with friends, followers on social media and clients. Sourced from numerous locations, he was proud of his finds, whether it was a rare book or piece of radical lighting. Each cherished object was thoughtfully selected and likewise showcased within his interior.

This collection celebrates a rare collecting vision without boundaries. Each object was assembled with a singular appreciation of its aesthetic, regardless of the value to the outside world. As Jim was known to say: “Time is the only real critic that matters”.

Peter Halley The Program, 2015. Photo by Wright
Lapo Binazzi MGM table lamp, 1969. This example in blue is the earliest known example. It was exhibited at the Salone di Mobilie in 1971. Photo by Wright
Gaetano Pesce, Nobody’s Perfect cabinet, 2002. Photo by Wright
Ettore Sottsass UFO table lamp, 1957/c.2002. Photo by Wright
Budgie’s Leather Jacket, c. 1985. This jacket belonged to Budgie, the drummer for English rock band, Siouxsie and the Banshees.


Stories of art and design from an industry leading auction…

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store