BERLIN--For anyone who thought that James Franco's turn in the art world would be a short-lived dalliance to be as quickly cast aside as Lady Gaga's meat dress, the Hollywood actor's ambitious artistic projects for 2011 may put those suspicions to rest -- beginning with his first solo gallery show, to be held at the Peres Projects gallery in Berlin. Set to open in February during the Berlin Film Festival (in which Franco will be screening a movie), the show will be an elaboration on the "Dangerous Book Four Boys" exhibition that Franco displayed this summer at Alanna Heiss's Clocktower space in New York.
"There will be the same videos as at the Clocktower, but more drawings, as well as paintings and photographs," said dealer Javier Peres, who is known for working with artists like Terence Koh and the late Dash Snow. "Also, we will be selling the work. Everything is for sale. We haven't gotten into pricing the work yet, but since this is his first show for sale I expect the prices will be quite reasonable."
Opting to have his first solo gallery show in Berlin might at first seem an odd choice for Franco, whose "General Hospital" appearances were showcased earlier this year at Los Angeles's MOCA and who would likely have no trouble finding a prominent gallery to display his work closer to home. But Peres and Franco have known each other for eight years, from the early days of the dealer's Los Angeles operation. "He was hanging around in my gallery," Peres says. "Of course, I hadn't watched TV for ten years, so I hadn't seen him in 'Freaks and Geeks,' and I wasn't a movie buff. I figured he was just some young artist, and I got to know him in that way. He would talk about art, and I would think, 'Wow, you really know your shit.' Over the years we have talked, kept in touch." Franco, he added, "takes his artistic practice seriously."