The Most Important Artists of 2013 (So Far)

19. James Franco

Exhibitions: Marina Abramovic announced her plan to make a movie about Franco's life (February 25, 2013), "Psycho Nacirema" at Pace Gallery in London (June 6 - July 27, 2013), co-curated "Cinematic Visions: Painting at the Edge of Reality" at Victoria Miro Gallery (June 3 - August 3, 2013)

It seems that the art world has accepted James Franco as a serious creative, probably because the actor/artist/writer/curator/student refuses to be pigeon-holed into one discipline or genre. This year, Franco solidified his place in the art world among today's top artists. Performance art goddess Marina Abramovic announced her plan to make a movie about Franco in February. Two month later, Franco popped up at MoMA PS1 as the moderator of Bird Shit, a performance piece inspired by Chekov's The Seagull that combined theater, dance, and live music.

For his show "Psycho Nacirema," Franco took a page from Hitchcock. In photographs inspired by Psycho, Franco appears in drag as Marion Crane in a work that's both voyeuristic and humorous, according to The Independent. "Cinematic Visions," which Franco co-curated in a London gallery, was a visual feast on the interaction between film and painting. Most recently, Franco bared it all for McCarthy's Rebble Dabble Babble, a sometimes revolting installation involving violent and pornographic videos featuring Franco and McCarthy. -Leigh Silver

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