Actor James Franco (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), who recently screened his film Francophrenia at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, is also an exhibited artist and a published author. He opens an exhibition this week in Los Angeles, inspired by the iconic film Rebel Without a Cause.
In association with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the exhibit Rebel (May 16-June 23) is a multimedia show featuring paintings and sculpture by contemporary artists Ed Ruscha, Paul McCarthy, Douglas Gordon, Terry Richardson, Aaron Young - and Franco.
Located at the JF Chen exhibition space in Los Angeles the show "is an extension of the film," Franco told the LA Times. The noir film, starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, was about a troubled teenager who arrives in a new town and encounters more trouble.
The 50th anniversary of Dean's death motivated Franco to create this project as a way to celebrate the actor and the show explores themes of teen angst, sexual coming of age, identity and authority.
Franco, who has been associated with the actor, played James Dean in a 2001 television biopic and won a Golden Globe.
A short film by Harmony Korine, who wrote and directed the upcoming movie Spring Breakers starring Franco, is included in the exhibition, interpreting the famous knife fight scene from Rebel Without a Cause but with girl gangs on BMX bikes wielding machetes.
Franco's film Francophrenia, co-directed with Ian Olds, is a mini-thriller exploring his appearances on the soap opera General Hospital.
The actor's multifaceted career consistently looks at high art meeting with popular art. For his next film, Lovelace, he has a cameo as Playboy's Hugh Hefner and in 2013 he will play the Wizard of Oz in the film Oz: The Great and Powerful, a prequel to the story of the original 1939 classic film.