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James Franco's art is polarizing. On one hand, top galleries, including Pace, have exhibited his pieces, giving him art world cred. In addition, established artists like Paul McCarthy and Marina Abramovic have worked with Franco on various attention-grabbing projects. On the other hand, critics have lambasted the actor-cum-artist time and time again, refusing to accept him as legit.
After Franco's "New Film Stills" opened at Pace (a series of photos where he re-staged Cindy Sherman's "Untitled Film Stills"), Vulture art critic Jerry Saltz wrote, "At this point George W. Bush is actually a better artist than James Franco."
Now Franco is back with a new series of works that still may fail to convince the critics. Themed off of some of the movies he's starred in, including Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Spring Breakers, and Milk, the pieces look a lot like his trollish Instagrams—and that may be the point. As someone who repeatedly breaks the barriers between high and low, often putting his own egoism on display, it makes sense that Franco would create Instagram-inspired homages to himself. But is his art any good? That's still up for debate.
Franco's art, which was released exclusively at Vanity Fair, will appear in his new multi-media book Hollywood Dreaming, on sale Sept. 23.
[via Vanity Fair]