It's hard to know what, exactly, to think of James Franco and his art, but therein lies the genius: no matter the response you have to his work and eccentric foray into other fields, it immediately becomes a part of his unending spool of captured reality.
Franco, as handsome Hollywood leading man, is not supposed to be venturing into academia and arts visual and performing, critics say. Stick to what you're good at, the lament goes; don't be complicated, because that is quite difficult to process. Be the hiker who lost his arm or the scientist who made apes smart, audiences call. Unmoved, Franco plows on, obtaining degrees wholesale, publishing short stories, opening art galleries based on James Dean films, recutting other directors' films, making porn documentaries, playing meta serial killers on soap operas, making his own micro-indie flicks, adapting novels to screen and bearing his behind on magazine covers.
Yes, that's his latest move, cheeks shining on the cover of "Flaunt Magazine."
As you can read in the prologue to the cover story, how the photo -- or any of the photos in the magazine -- got snapped and printed is its own bit of Franco madness, a battle with the press that just doesn't get what he's doing, because what he is doing is the art. He may be the only patron of the gallery, but isn't all art, in the end, a personal experience?
Bloggers, beware: your response will become part of his work.
"I don't think what I'm doing is confusing," he tells Flaunt. "What is confusing is that I'm an actor in mainstream film and the people that usually comment on mainstream film are idiots, and they don't try to think outside of their pop-culture commentaries. It's so easy to criticize contemporary art from the outside: 'Douglas Gordon slowed down Psycho so it's 24-hours long? That's easy! I can do that.' That's how the morons in the blogosphere try to critique my work. But the great thing about it is, is that their critiques are part of my work. I like that they are confused. I like that they make fun of what I'm doing. It's a beautiful reflection of where our culture is at the moment."
For more, click over to Flaunt Magazine.